Hearts closing in on two new signings, says Ian Cathro

Hearts are closing in on two more new signings as they attempt to add another striker and centre-back to their squad.

Ian Cathro is aiming to have balance across his Hearts squad. Pic: SNS
Ian Cathro is aiming to have balance across his Hearts squad. Pic: SNS

Head coach Ian Cathro will take his number of new recruits to six before the January transfer window closes if negotiations reach a successful conclusion.

He wants another forward to compete with Bjorn Johnsen and Conor Sammon up front, whilst extra experience in defence is also seen as a priority. Talks have taken place with prospective targets and Cathro told the Evening News that progress is being made.

“We need to add that 
attacking option and we’ll look to bring in another option at centre-back. We need cover in those areas,” he explained.

“We’re quite far down the line with those things and once we’ve got everything done then the fans will be first to know.

“We need to do some things to make sure we’ve got the right options and balance across the squad. What we need to do over the next couple of days is see exactly what those will be. We have to be professional about making the right 

Hearts face Raith Rovers at Tynecastle this evening in a Scottish Cup fourth round replay. Cathro admitted his players owe the fans a performance and result after Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Stark’s Park. “We want the crowd to be with us. The more people who can come along the better because I think we owe them a little bit,” he said. “We certainly feel that.

“We want their support and we want to give them the football and the win that they deserve. We can move forward together after that.”

The 30-year-old is less than two months into his first managerial job but insists Hearts are already making progress. He conceded that improvement has yet to manifest itself in results on the park, with only one win in six games since he replaced Robbie Neilson.

“I see it every day. That’s one of the reasons why I feel the frustration 1000 times more,” he explained. “I know what we are and where we will reach and I know everything will work. Nobody else does right now so what we need to do is talk less, show more.”

He stressed that his post-match BBC television interview at Stark’s Park on Sunday was evidence of his frustration. “I can’t even remember what I said or what the boy asked me.

“That’s a representation of being frustrated and upset. It’s easier for me to stay calm and focused because I know where we are going and I know we’ll be ready to do it.

“We’ve added players and we will improve and I’ll look to add more and improve again. I know these things. The frustration is we have passed another game where we have not given the fans reason to believe.

“That hurts all of us but that’s a sign we need to accept as part of our life. We are going – we’re not sitting still. The disappointing part and the part that leaves me with a feeling of frustration is that we haven’t let others see it.

“People only see results and I know that only with them will come the belief from outside. That doesn’t mean that we haven’t been moving forward. You can’t move forward for a long time without winning – we know that and that’s our job. It’s a gradual thing.”