Date: 21st March 2007 at 2:10am
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Michael Hart is naturally very displeased. His team were thumped in their crucial match at Ibrox and despite Hart not being to blame for his team’s performance, he has taken the weight of the defeat on his shoulders due to his pre-match comments.

Hart apparently told an interviewer from the Evening Express that he thought certain Aberdeen players were better than their Rangers equivalent and that the Dons were the superior side.

Hart is now insisting that he has been misquoted. He has the backing of his team mates, coaching staff and even the author who all agree that his words have been manipulated into meaning something rather than what was intended by the Glasgow press who also copied and printed aspects of the interview.

It should open up a whole new debate on where the line is drawn between making good copy and blatant lying to make a story if what Michael says in his interview with Red Web is anything to go by.

Rangers of course would have received a great boost on hearing Michael’s words and been choking to prove him wrong. The Rangers fans were on his back all day and Jimmy Calderwood spent much of his pre-match time defending and explaining his right-back’s comments.

It obviously had a bearing on the match and all who read the interview must have questioned why he would berate Rangers in such a way which could only serve to inspire them.

After reading Michael’s reaction and defence of himself, if true, the questiion Aberdeen fans must now be asking should be,’was this just a ploy to sell some papers by the Glasgow media?’ or ‘was it done deliberately to inspire the Rangers team?’.

We may never now but it should certainly bring the integrity, ethics and professionalism of the Glasgow based papers into question and what else they ‘spin’ in their war against each other.

The full Michael Hart reaction to his supposed comments are as follows.

‘To be honest, I’m pretty annoyed at some of the things I’m supposed to have said which, quite simply, are just not true.

‘Last Thursday I spoke to the Aberdeen Evening Express to preview the Rangers game and I highlighted the fact that confidence was high and that in Russell Anderson, we have a player who would get a regular game for any team in Scotland. I also said that both Jamie Smith and Craig Brewster were doing really well since their return from injury and that they really had made a difference. Naturally, I’m going to build up my own team, rather than our opponents, but at no time did I mention any Rangers player by name. Equally, I said that I had a great deal of respect for Rangers, which is true, and that we still face a massive job to qualify for Europe next season.

‘I had no problem with the way the interview appeared but the headline saying that ‘we’re better than Rangers’ bore no relation to what was actually said. However, the way some of the weekend papers reported the interview was completely out of order and gave the impression that I had criticised individual players in their team which would be a really stupid thing to do and something I would never get involved in. If a player I was playing against had said the things I’m supposed to have, I’d be pretty upset and it certainly does nothing to help the team to get a result.

‘Unfortunately, it was a very poor performance and one we have to move on from for the remaining games, starting with the trip to Kilmarnock in a week and a half’s time.’

On the plus side, it has given us something else to talk about rather than the result, something that may have been different had the comments not spurred Rangers on as they did.

Hit the forums for your say in the matter.