Motherwell 0-1 Hearts: Craig Levein defends Uche Ikpeazu's '50-50' challenge
Hearts manager Craig Levein says Uche Ikpeazu was entitled to make the challenge that resulted in Motherwell goalkeeper Trevor Carson being injured.
The players clashed in Hears' 1-0 win, with Carson "hopeful there is no serious damage" to his ankle.
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson felt Ikpeazu should have been disciplined by referee Bobby Madden, but Levein defended the striker.
"I can't see how anyone could be annoyed at Uche," the Hearts boss said.
Carson tweeted a photo of the bruised and bloodied joint after the game.
Robinson claimed post-match that his goalkeeper may have suffered a broken ankle and that Madden's assessment of the incident went against Motherwell.
"For me it was a 50-50, and his player's come out second best, so he should be annoyed at his goalkeeper rather than Ikpeazu," Levein responded.
"Steven Naismith has intelligently followed up and recognised the situation and deftly finished."
The Hearts manager said his players were motivated by Motherwell striker Curtis Main "in the paper questioning whether our boys could deal with it. I thought John Souttar and Jimmy Dunne gave him his answer".
Victory moved the Tynecastle side five points clear at the top of the Premiership, much to the delight of the club's fans.
"They can dream any time they like," Levein said
"It's not up to me to tell them when to dream. This whole one game at a time thing always rears it's head and what is important to me is to not get too excited.
"We've got a long way to go. Keeping improving is the answer to how we can keep going and keep winning."