First Team

Cathro: Replay a must-win

22nd January 2017

Head coach confesses Raith Rovers deserved cup replay and demands victory in Wednesday's rematch.

Ian Cathro conceded he couldn’t begrudge Raith Rovers their replay as Declan McManus’ last-minute equaliser earned the Fifers a rematch with the Jambos on Wednesday.

The Jambos thought they’d earned their place in the fifth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup after Jamie Walker’s first-half strike, but the match will go another 90 minutes at Tynecastle now.

“I wouldn’t say we were hard done by, if I’m honest,” said the Head Coach. “We have a bit to go yet. We didn’t deal with their pressure in the second half, so yes it’s difficult to say we’re hard done by.”

Cathro handed debuts to new signings Aaron Hughes, Malaury Martin, Lennard Sowah and Andraz Struna and admitted he was pleased with how they fitted into the side, and revealed his confidence that they would be valuable additions to the squad.

“There were good bits down to our work, the addition of the new players added to the side, in terms of quality, and we had to defend a lot of set pieces, but we didn’t defend all of them well enough.

“The new players will show their qualities in the next weeks and months as they get used to each other, and the way we want them to play.”

Lastly, when asked if this replay would now cause an issue with fixture congestion and squad fitness, Cathro stated that Hearts had no choice but to deal with it and ensure the time they get the right result.

“We don’t have a choice now. We must win on Wednesday, there’s no alternative as far as I’m concerned. It’s crazy that we’re having to play back-to-back games. 

“It’s not ideal, and I never looked ahead to it, because I expected to win, but now we must deal with it and get the result.”