First Team

Improvement needed

30th December 2016

Ian Cathro unhappy with Hearts' start to the game as Aberdeen leave Tynecastle with three points.

Ian Cathro felt Hearts lost the opening battle of the match and gave Aberdeen the freedom to dictate the tempo of the game in tonight’s defeat at Tynecastle.

Jonny Hayes’ second half strike won the match for the Dons in a 1-0 victory, and the Head Coach thought the away side managed to gain a foothold early in the match and controlled the play from then on.

“I thought in the opening stages, we lost the initial battle to set the tone and the tempo of how the game would be played,” said Cathro. “Aberdeen were allowed to play the type of game they prefer, so we had to adjust our tactics, and the players deserve credit for getting to half time at 0-0.

“Should it have been 0-0 at the break? That’s questionable. We had to scrap and fight, and then make second half adjustments, which gave us the chance to play a bit more. We could have attacked quicker, and stayed higher up the pitch. We didn’t do it enough to create chances, though.

“We made mistakes defending, which obviously need improving upon, and as a result of that, we’ve lost the game.”

When asked what he felt he had learned after his first month in charge, Ian admitted that the transfer window allowed him an opportunity to reflect on the things he’d picked up on since taking over four weeks ago.

“The more stressful and intense the game, the more you learn and the more everyone has to show themselves. Inside the first five games, we’ve had two opponents at the top of the table, and had tough situations to face, which we can learn a lot from.

“The window, and break, brings us an opportunity to assess the changes we need to make, and we will look to improve what we have available. I don’t believe we need to do a lot in January. We’re not obessed with it, but we can make improvements.

“We’ve learned a lot about everyone this month, and we need to grow to be a team capable of performing consistently throughout. There’s a lot of work ahead of us to make sure we do that.”