Ian CATHRO has insisted that Hearts’ most significant transfer activity this year will take place in the summer window.
The Tynecastle head coach is well aware of the pitfalls of the January window, when many potential targets are out of favour and short of form or fitness.
Although he is keen to fill some gaps in his squad, Cathro warned fans not to expect a deluge of high-profile players to arrive at the club this month.
He also hinted that one or two players may come in on short-term contracts before the serious business can be conducted in the summer, when in-form targets, such as Aberdeen attacker Niall McGinn, become free agents.
“The winter and summer transfer windows are really different,” Cathro told the Hearts website. “Trying to do really important pieces of business in January is quite difficult.
“You tend to be limited to players who perhaps haven’t had the best start to the season. That leaves you with a tougher decision to make with regards to whether they’re right for the club.
“The summer window is when we’ll have the real chance of doing things that truly make a difference. For now, however, we need to calmly analyse the market.
“We have a clear idea of where we want to go and what type of qualities we’re looking to add to the team. So we need to take it day by day and try to get the right deals done.”
Cathro has taken just four points from a possible 15 in his first five matches in charge. He insists this tally should have been higher, with leads relinquished against both Partick Thistle and Dundee during a tough baptism for the 30-year-old,
“My feeling on the situation is that we should probably be sitting with five more points than what we currently have,” he said. “I think we had reached positions in games where it shouldn’t have resulted in a draw or a loss. Ultimately I accept responsibility for that.
“Because of that, however, I’ve been able to learn more about the team than what I would normally do in such a short period of time.
“It’s up to us now to learn from those things and ensure we move on quickly. We know how we want to play going forward. The idea is that the style will help us win more games and be in control of more games on a consistent basis.”
Cathro explained that the ongoing backing of supporters can help Hearts be successful, but the head coach insists he has no problem with frustrations being voiced from the stands when things are not going plan, as has been the case in recent home games.
“The fans are essential when it comes to helping us achieve what we want,” he said. “We will do this together.
“I’m here because this club isn’t your run-of-the-mill football club. There’s a real connection here. The fans pack this stadium out. Sometimes it’s full of life and it’s throwing the whole team forward. Other times it can remind us that we’re not performing.
“That’s something I’m very comfortable with. I’m pleased that’s the case because we all need to be reminded that we have a responsibility here.
“Not only do we have a responsibility to maintain the standard set here, but also to push the club on and be able to reach a point where we can maybe go a bit further. I’ve no fear about saying that.”