Ian Cathro ripped into his Hearts players after last night’s Scottish Cup fifth-round replay defeat by Hibs. The Tynecastle head coach was livid at full-time and said everyone involved in the 3-1 loss at easter Road had let the club and fans down.
Goals by Jason Cummings, Grant Holt and Andrew Shinnie put Hibs 3-0 ahead before Esmael Goncalves reduced the deficit. However, Hearts surrendered meekly and were jeered from the field by their supporters after a performance lacking in fight and desire.
“We’ve made a very big mistake by overestimating where we are,” said Cathro. “We lost the game because we didn’t have the level of fight. We didn’t win second balls and we didn’t turn up to the fight at the start. That’s something we need to accept and put our hands up. All of us, collectively, have let the club and fans down. We’ve got a hell of a lot of making up to do to a lot of people. You can be quite certain we will do that. We make it up by never, ever, allowing the opponent to win things easy, drop balls, loose balls, second balls, long balls. We can never go through even five minutes of a game like that first half hour.”
Asked if the lack of fight concerned him, Cathro answered: “Of course it is a concern. It’s a lesson and we need to find that fight. They have it but I think we, and I, have made a mistake in overestimating the stage we’re at. There wasn’t enough fight.
“I’d say first half to second half was slightly different but it doesn’t really matter if there was improvement. What happened, happened early in the game. It hurts and we’re hurt. It’s not that we don’t possess those fighting qualities.”
Winger Jamie Walker joined his manager in conceding Hearts had let their standards fall and were outfought by their Edinburgh rivals. “For a football club like Hearts I don’t think that was good enough,” he stated. “We need to apologise to the fans and we need to get our heads up and go again.
“We have let everyone down at the club. It is not good enough for a club like Hearts to come here and lose 3-1. Everything went wrong. We were outfought, we were outplayed. It is sad to say – but it’s the truth and it is not good enough.
“I’m not sure why that was. Maybe they have more boys who know what this game means like I do. But it’s disappointing. It is going to take time to get over this. We have a lot of making up to do to the fans and everyone at the club. We’ve got another game Saturday and we need to go to Partick Thistle and get three points.”
Walker hinted that some of Hearts’ new signings didn’t quite grasp what is required in an Edinburgh derby. “Maybe the new boys were just expecting to pop the ball around and, as you know, in a derby you can’t do that,” he said.
“You need to win your individual battles and I think we failed in all aspects of that. Maybe that’s the lesson, not just in games like this, but against Inverness and teams who are battling at the bottom of the table it will be the same. Maybe it’s an eye opener.”