HIBERNIAN manager Lee Johnson took aim at Hearts counterpart Steven Naismith after a tempestuous Edinburgh derby, saying that the managers ‘don’t like each other’ and that the interim Tynecastle boss has been disrespectful to predecessor Robbie Neilson since coming into his role.

A scrap of a game spilled over into a mass shoving match after the final whistle, with players and staff from both sides squaring up on the pitch, seemingly sparked in the first instance by Hearts substitute goalkeeper throwing a hot water bottle at Hibs manager Johnson during the 90 minutes.

The game itself finished in a 1-1 draw, allowing 10-man Hearts to secure fourth place ahead of their city rivals, and Johnson’s disappointment in the outcome extended to the conduct of Naismith in the opposite dugout.

"It was a classic 'my dad's bigger than your dad' melee-type thing,” Johnson said.

"It was a frustrating game in terms of the ebb and the flow because there was no flow.

"The time-wasting was quite embarrassing at times; that's supposed to support free-flowing football.

"It was a case of two managers who don't like each other very much and that's what started it.

"I'll keep the hot water bottle that was thrown at me for winter!

"There was a bit of needle, but it happens. Technical areas are a passionate place. It's not a problem, we move on.

"I've been a manager that long, you see it all in the technical area. It means nothing. I've no idea if any players were carded afterwards. I just wanted to get over and clap our fans.

"He's had seven games as a manager and I just think the way he speaks is disrespectful to the previous manager.

"We'll see after 250 games - if he's lucky enough to still be in charge of any club - if he still has that attitude."

In response, Naismith described Johnson’s comments about his apparent disrespect for Neilson as ‘fishing’, as he defended his track record.

“As he said, the touchline is a manic place, or whatever it may be that he said,” Naismith said.

“I had to watch, I was one yellow away from getting a suspension already, so I wasn’t involved [in the post-match melee].

“I’ve got a 15-year career at the top level. I’ve managed to pull things from some of the best managers around Britain.

“I’ve been in a role for the last two years under arguably Scotland’s best manager for a long period of time.

“I’m not naïve to think I know everything, but what I have done is my homework. I’ve had two solid years of good coaching.

“It’s part of the game.”

Naismith is hoping that he has done enough by guiding Hearts to fourth place to convince the Tynecastle hierarchy he is the man to replace Neilson on a permanent basis, feeling that he has both the experience required and the ambition to put the club back where they should be; competing for third place and for silverware on a consistent basis.

“I would say that I'm ready for management,” he said.

“This period was definitely a big indicator. I have spoken to clubs in the past, but you have this feeling of ‘am I ready?’ And every manager I’ve spoken to has said that if you could coach for another 10 years you will never know when you're ready, but what this has done is give me a taste of it and I know I'm ready and I think I've shown that.

“These are the five hardest games of the season and you are getting them at a time where the squad is really low, and I'm proud of what we've done. Conversations will now start to see if I’m the man to take Hearts forward or not.

“For my seven games, I think [finishing fourth] is a success. For where Hearts want to be year on year, we need to compete for third and be in Europe and competing against the best teams in the league, and we need to be competing for silverware.

“I mean competing consistently and we do need to win one and we need to get third place and we need to become a better team, and a bigger club and a better club. That's the main drive.”

As evidenced by the battling performance to get the required point despite being a man light for the majority of the game, Neilson also says he has the players fighting for the cause.

“Definitely,” he said.

“Hearts teams in the past have been labelled with being soft, don’t have enough fight and I’ve been part of some of this those teams.

“St Mirren away, character to come back, today - to see the game out. To go to Rangers and go for 96 minutes to get a result, when I was a player here these things very rarely happened.

“That part is turning but if you want to play here you need to have that.”