Shiels: No sympathy for Sergio

PA Sport
Kenny Shiels
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Kenny Shiels

Kenny Shiels believes Paulo Sergio should have walked out on Hearts after being prevented from picking first-choice keeper Marian Kello - as he would have done in the same situation.

Sergio admitted "a political thing" meant Kello was left out of Sunday's 1-1 William Hill Scottish Cup fifth-round draw with St Johnstone at Tynecastle and the Slovakian was again missing for Wednesday's 4-0 home loss to Celtic in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

The Northern Irishman, whose Kilmarnock side face Hearts in the SPL at Rugby Park on Saturday, told Press Association Sport that he would not have tolerated any such similar boardroom interference, and said: "I have no sympathy for him."

Kello, out of contract this summer, is understood to have turned down a January move to Rapid Vienna for a reported fee of 100,000 euros (£83,000) which is believed to have irked the Gorgie club's owner, Vladimir Romanov.

But Shiels , who is set to sign former Hearts and Bristol City midfielder Lee Johnson on a two-and-a-half-year deal if he passes a medical on Thursday, added: "If you have principles in your life and your job is to select the team and that power is taken away from you then you have to leave.

"If my chairman was trying to pick my team I would walk away because he has taken my job away from me.

"I am not criticising Paulo Sergio, but in my opinion, if the chairman ever said to me that I have to pick him or him then he is compromising my position.

"To belittle someone like that is so wrong. It wouldn't happen in any other industry.

"I have two keepers fighting for the number one slot. If the chairman says to me that I have to put in Anssi Jaakkola and I feel Cammy Bell is better, how can I look Cammy Bell in the eye and try to motivate him three weeks later?

"You have to back up your players. My principles have to be the most important thing to me because if you do that now, you will do that in other areas of your life."

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