Hearts coach Ian Cathro will draw on experience from some of Europe’s most respected coaches for tomorrow’s Edinburgh derby. However, he stressed that no-one demands more from him than himself.
The 30-year-old is preparing for his first meeting with Hibs in the Scottish Cup fifth round at Tynecastle. It will be just his 11th match as a manager after taking charge of Hearts following Robbie Neilson’s move to MK Dons. Cathro has worked as an assistant to Rafa Benitez at Newcastle and Nuno Espirito Santo at Valencia and Rio Ave. Although he learned much from them, he will apply more pressure on himself to guide Hearts through tomorrow’s tie than anyone else can.
“Nobody will put me under more pressure than me. That means I’m in control of it, which lets me stay quite balanced about the whole thing,” said Cathro today. “I know what I’m doing and I know where we’re going together.
“We are strong, there’s a strong collective group at this club and there are ambitious people. The players are hungry, they want to fight, so we just need to improve day-by-day. This has been the same as any other week for us in that sense.
“This is a special game for the fans, players and everyone around the club. I take a lot of things from my time together with Nuno, Rui Barros and Antonio Diaz. I take different things from Newcastle as well.
“Rafa comes from a lot of different experiences. He wasn’t always one of the top managers in the world. He fought his way through different experiences, which is sometimes forgotten but it’s very impressive. I call on things from all of them, naturally.”
Hearts have enjoyed a swift upturn in fortunes after beating Rangers 4-1 and Motherwell 3-0 in their last two league matches. Prior to that, a run of two wins in his first eight games in charge left Cathro frustrated.
“That’s the game of football – things change quickly. We have to stay focused on what we’re doing and not hear too much of the positives or negatives,” he continued. “That way we stay strong and make the progress we want to make.
“We want to experience the positive moments more but, even in those moments, we have to stay calm and clear on the things that we need to improve. We can’t be blurred by anything, positive or negative.”