Joey Barton backs Hearts decision to hire Ian Cathro

Ian Cathro, and the decision to hire him, was heavily criticised by Kris Boyd in a column for the Scottish Sun. Picture: PA

Ian Cathro, and the decision to hire him, was heavily criticised by Kris Boyd in a column for the Scottish Sun. Picture: PA

11
Have your say

Ian Cathro has been championed by an unexpected advocate after Joey Barton defended the decision to hire the 30-year-old as new Hearts head coach.

Click here for the latest results, fixtures and stats>>>

The former Rangers player was appearing on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss his time at Ibrox. The topic later shifted to the latest developments at Tynecastle with Kris Boyd also invited on to the show.

The Kilmarnock striker was quizzed on his reasons for writing a scathing column in the Scottish Sun, which questioned the decision of Hearts to go for Cathro over other, potentially more experienced, managers.

Barton asked Boyd whether he would still have written the article if Hearts had gone for Steven Gerrard instead. Boyd said he probably wouldn’t have, because Gerrard would have a greater knowledge of how a dressing room works having been a player for so many years.

However, Barton argued that Cathro, with his experience in Scotland, England, Portugal and Spain, represented less of a risk than someone who has never coached before.

He said: “This guy [Cathro], I mean, Steve McClaren is a good coach, Rafa Benitez is a very experienced manager, he’s obviously had the real drive and desire to go across to Portugal at a young age and coach and then to go to Valencia with the same manager, so he’s got credibility.

“How I look at it is you’ve got Steven Gerrard, who could be a top manager in the future, but he’s a novice. This guy’s got some experience and I think you’ve got to let him run with it. I would be less sceptical, and I get why you’ve said what you’ve said and it is a big risk, but so is every appointment.”

Barton also believes Hearts are ahead of the curve by going for someone seen as more progressive rather than an “old school” appointment.

He added: “We’ve got to be careful as footballers thinking just because we’ve played the game sometimes we’ve got a quite blinkered view of it. I speak to young players now, the days of shouting and bawling and giving a rocket up their a*** at half-time, it’s a totally different landscape.”

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Barton backs Cathro | Celtic fans ‘letting club down’ | Rangers to sign Villa forward

Keep up to date with all our sport news on The Scotsman’s Sport page on Facebook