First Team

Team must capitalise

29th January 2017

Ian Cathro knows his team must make upper hand count.

Ian Cathro wants his team to make chances count in the wake of Hearts’ 4-0 defeat to Celtic.

A period of second-half possession saw the Jambos start to take the upper hand against their opponents, only for Celtic to add three late goals to seal the victory.

The head coach saw enough to suggest that the quality in his Hearts side is there, but knows they must take advantage when on the front foot.

Speaking at full time, he said: “If we start at the beginning, we wanted to come here and come here and compete against them. We believed that we could and I believe that we gave enough evidence that that was possible throughout.

“We had to stop their build up sometimes. Of course, here, you’re going to play against good players and you’re going to spend time defending the goal.

“In the first-half we may have suffered a little bit more, in the second-half I think we improved those things. Our pressure improved and through that we started to give a bit more quality into our game.

“Our possession and the things that we wantd to do with the ball came through for a period. And that, really, for me was the defining part of the game, where in these situations, when we started to have the game in our hands that we started to hurt them and the game went to 1-1.

“Maybe we could’ve pushed a little bit harder for those opportunities, maybe a couple came, and after that you then look at some defining moments and we’re looking to push even harder but we suffered a second goal at that point. The game then starts to change.

“In these stadiums against these players you need to make sure that that counts for something and the game can come your way. If not, you need to make sure you’re very concentrated.”

A hard day was compounded with John Souttar stretchered off in injury time. While it’s too early to confirm the exact nature of the defender’s injury, Ian admits it is a major concern as he looks to further strengthen his squad ahead of the transfer window closing on Tuesday night.

“There’s a bit of concern with him just now,” he said. “There’s an Achilles issue, we don’t know the extent of it just now. As you saw, it didn’t look nice so we are concerned about that.

“It’ll be in the next few hours and tomorrow morning before we know exactly what it is.

“We need to get to exactly what it is. It’s an area of the park where we need to add players anyway. We need to add players all across the pitch, including the bench.

“We’re a little bit light, we know we have a lot of work to do and we’re doing it. We expect to bring in players over the next few days.”