First Team

Cathro: Plenty of positives

13th May 2017

Head coach more convinced than ever that his side are on the right track.

Ian Cathro admitted to having mixed feelings as ten-man Hearts fell to a 2-1 defeat at Ibrox despite a spirited display.

An early Joe Garner goal, followed by a red card for Prince Buaben made it mission impossible for the Jambos, but after a tactical reshuffle, Hearts levelled it up.

Isma Goncalves scored from a sharp breakaway, but the hard work was undone almost immediately as Barrie McKay netted two minutes later.

After the match, the Head Coach praised his team’s strength in refusing to be blown aside, and in large spells, being the better team.

“We were strong and consistent today, and we didn’t let things rock us,” said Ian. “Our attitude and work rate was first class. They had counter attacks, yes, but so did we. We had to try and be bold.

“For me, it’s a bag of mixed feelings today. I’m disappointed to lose, but there are a lot of positives within that. 

“Those of us on the inside know how and what we’re building. After today, I’m more convinced than ever that this is going to be a very good team.

“This is the attitude that I have, and that the team has,” he continued. “When we stop putting the gun in our own mouths, it’ll be easier. You have to manage parts of the game when you’ve scored.

“That’s twice in two games we’ve failed to do that, and it’s happened too many times in the last five months, so that’s something we’ll be working on, game management.”

Finally, Ian conceded that European qualification now looked highly unlikely as St Johnstone required only one point from their final three games to secure that final spot.

However, he reassured supporters that missing out on European qualification would not affect the quality of players targeted to boost the squad. 

“I think we can realistically say Europe is gone now,” he admitted. “The main thing is we get value out of the next two matches for next season, like we did today.

“Not qualifying for Europe, however, is not going to have any affect on the quality of players we’ll be signing in the summer, for who we’re aiming for. Not at all.”