Ian Cathro apologised to the Hearts supporters after the Jambos were knocked out of the Scottish Cup following a 3-1 defeat to Hibs.
The home side were 3-0 up after an hour, and despite a brief rally towards the end of the match when Isma Goncalves netted, Hearts ultimately fell to defeat.
After the match, the Head Coach admitted he had made an error in judgement when it came to the side, and apologised to the fans for what he referred to as a failure to ‘turn up to the fight’.
“We’ve made a very big mistake tonight, and over-estimated where we are as a team,” said Ian. “We’ve lost the game because we didn’t have the same level of fight as our opponents.
“We didn’t turn up to the fight, and we need to accept that. All of us have let the club down tonight, and we have a hell of a lot of making up to do to the supporters.”
When asked if it was worrying that the team was unable to motivate themselves for a big game away to their local rivals with a cup quarter final at stake, Ian agreed and stated that he had learned a lot from what he witnessed.
“Of course it’s a concern that the team wasn’t up for it,” he replied. “It’s a lesson for me, and we need to find that desire within them. They have it in them, I know that.
“However, we - and I - have made the mistake in over-estimating the stage we’re at and the progress we’ve made, and there just wasn’t enough fight in them.”
Hearts did improve to some degree in the second half, but as Ian would go on to say, the damage had been done by that point, and he reiterated his point that the team were not at the stage he thought they were at.
“I don’t want to discuss first half to second half improvements,” said Cathro. “There’s no point. What happened, happened very early in the game, and we let a lot of people down as a result.
“It hurts, we’re hurting. It’s not that we don’t possess those qualities, but what I come back to is that the team is not at the stage I thought they were at.
“We’ve let so many people down. You can be certain we will make it up to the fans,” he continued. “We will never, ever allow - for even five minutes - to have the opposition win everything.
"No easy balls, long balls and second balls easily, we can never go through five minutes like the first half hour tonight was, it was unacceptable.”
As he was asked what it was that went wrong, specifically, Cathro revealed that the team had taken two steps back, but that he remained optimistic for the future as he offered one final apology to the fans.
“We forgot to show the most basic parts of football, and it can never happen again. We feel the hurt that we’ve caused by not performing. I’ve learned lots of lessons about the players tonight.
“We know where we want to go, this is an amazing club with tremendous ambition and leadership and a bright future.
“Now it’s going to be further in the future because we’ve taken two steps back, and we have a lot of work to do. We’ve caused a lot of hurt tonight, and I’m sorry for that.”