Ian Cathro admitted that his bow as head coach of Heart of Midlothian didn’t go quite to plan, but delivered a message to the fans of the club by saying: we will be better.
The Jambos fell 2-0 to Rangers at Ibrox after goals from Rob Kiernan and Barrie McKay, and after the match, the Head Coach was asked how he felt in the aftermath of the match.
“It’s not the most fun I’ve ever had in my life,” said Cathro, with a wry grin. “That’s what happens when you lose a game and the idea is not to lose. Personally, if the question is about me, I feel fine. As for the game, I’ve learned a lot about the team immediately.
“This is why this game was really good for us, so quickly. An environment with extra pressure on everybody, you see the real people out there and a difficult environment brings it, so this for a first game is a great thing and we must take maximum value by helping them improve.
“There is a better team in the dressing room than the one that appeared on the pitch today, I know that for a fact.”
When asked where he felt the team hadn’t quite reached their potential, Ian was able to pinpoint a few occasions where things hadn’t gone his side’s way, particularly in the first period.
“There were maybe two moments in the first half”, he continued, “when we made some better decisions in our play and connected passes, but we need to make the game swing for us and make those moments count.
“When you make defensive mistakes, which happen, of course it becomes more difficult but those things happen and we’ll work hard on them.”
As for how he felt personally about taking his first steps as the head coach of a side, Ian stated that it didn’t feel overly different to him, and that there was no need to be concerned about any press attention on him, or how things would be under his leadership at Hearts.
“It didn’t feel too different for me. Of course, the situation is different and the added responsibility is there, but I did well as an assistant because I really, really cared about helping the team. It was a normal day at work. But the hard work starts, we need to make sure we make improvements.
“Everyone will get to know me sooner rather than later and you’ll realise nothing really bothers me. Make noise wherever you wish, it won’t affect me. It’s why I’ve done so well up to now, because I ignore the noise and focus on the hard work.”
Finally, Ian was seen approaching the 1000-plus travelling support at full time, applauding them and attempting to deliver a message to them. When questioned as to what he had said to the fans, he revealed that he wished for the support to know that his Hearts side will be better than they showed today.
“It’s the important the fans know that is not what will be on the grass for them,” said Cathro. “We will be better. That team is better than that.
“I want them to know that, I don’t want to hand out the card of ‘we need time’ because there’s a good team that needs to be better.
“It’s not a dramatic day, by any means. No drama, no disaster, a game we need to learn from and improve from, simply, and we will improve."