Hibs have given their backing to highly rated defender Ryan Porteous after he was snubbed by two Rangers players after the final whistle in yesterday’s 2-2 draw at Easter Road.
At full-time the 21-year-old offered to shakes hands with Rangers skipper James Tavernier but was ignored. He then tried to put his arm around Alfredo Morelos who furiously shrugged him off.
Pictures also showed Rangers’ manager Steven Gerrard with the Scotland U21 star at full time. In the photo Porteous is seen holding his arms out toward Gerrard and laughing.
Afterwards Gerrard revealed that Porteous had accused Tavernier of being a ‘bad loser’.
He said : “I think he (Porteous) was saying that Tav’s a bad loser, which is a bit cheap coming from him.
“He got sent off for a really bad tackle when he was losing 3-0 against us here last season.”
Gerrard was also unhappy with several incidents during the ill-tempered affair which ended with four Hibs’ players named in referee Don Robertson’s book.
Porteous was booked for an off the ball incident which left Morelos lying in the pitch although television evidence subsequently showed that the incident was a mere coming together.
In addition a challenge by Paul Hanlon on Ianis Hagi was criticised by TV pundit Kris Boyd who felt it merited a red card although others disagreed.
Gerrard added: “I think there could have been more action taken. But that’s out of my control.”
When told of Boyd’s comments Gerrard said that he had a point.
When asked for his take on the incident Porteous said: “I’m not bothered about that. What happens on the pitch should probably just stay on the pitch.”
He added: “People have to remember that we are up there as well. I’m not saying that we are going to challenge for this and that, but we are up there through merit right now through performances and good results, though keeping clean sheets and scoring goals.
“We said we were going to cause Rangers problems and I think we did. When we went 1-0 up we sat in and protected that. We should probably have had that belief to go and score another one or two. We are disappointed to concede two goals at home, but we will take the point.”
The official Hibs Twitter account later tweeted a humorous post to back the youngster:
They wrote: “Ryan Porteous. The best young Scottish centre-back out there.
“Feel free to reply if you think we’re wrong.”
However they disabled comments on the post, meaning no fans could disagree with their statement.
The result sees Rangers return to the top of the Premiership table but rivals Celtic have a game in hand although Hibs could do Gerrard’s side a favour when they return to action next Sunday at Parkhead.