Ian Cathro admits Hearts are hurting from recent performances and will head to Dundee on Friday more wounded than their opponents, who sit just one point off the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership.
The Tynecastle head coach explained that his players are likely to resemble more of a wounded animal than Dundee after losing to Rangers at Ibrox and drawing at home with Partick Thistle in their last two games.
“I think we probably feel more wounded than they will,” Cathro told the Evening News. “All of us haven’t reached the level we wanted to be at and it hurts. It adds to the fire and the drive to resolve that as quickly as possible.
“We have to put the right thing on the pitch for the entire 90 minutes and get the right outcome.”
Despite being head of youth at Dundee United until 2012, Cathro doesn’t expect to be targeted by Dundee fans. “I wouldn’t think so. It was such a long time ago that sometimes I struggle to remember that far back. We know what to expect up there. Dundee know their system well, defend well and have some clear attacking threats. It’s about us making improvements and just simply performing at the level that we’re all collectively at.”
To that end, Cathro is keen for his players to learn quickly two games into his reign.
“It’s important we analyse well, we assess well and learn very quickly. We’re doing that so the next bit is improvement. That’s something which will happen naturally. The players are good players so there’s no worry.
“As the new man in the building, analysing everyone and everything and learning quickly is what’s going to help us get close to where we want to be as soon as we possibly can. That’s what the situation is at the moment.
“We could’ve had better results, we probably should have, but we don’t. It’s time for being focused, together and everybody supporting each other. Those things will resolve themselves because we have the solutions. It’s not a problem.”
Midfielder Prince Buaben remains an injury doubt.