Ian Cathro insists Hearts respect Aberdeen but don’t fear them ahead of Sunday’s meeting between the clubs at Tynecastle.
The head coach stressed his players are not overawed despite the Pittodrie club sitting 21 points ahead in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Victory for Derek McInnes’ side this weekend would effectively secure second place in the league ahead of Rangers. Fifth-placed Hearts are striving to close a six-point gap between themselves and St Johnstone in fourth.
Admiring Aberdeen’s quality and consistency in recent seasons, Cathro stated Hearts fully intend to cause them problems in the last-ever match in front of Tynecastle’s main stand.
“You’ve got to respect that, over three or four seasons, Aberdeen have had strong consistency and it’s brought them results,” Cathro told the Evening News.
“Of course, that needs to be something which is respected by everybody who wants to show that same level of consistency in the top part of the league. We will work on trying to topple that in our own way.”
Last week’s 2-2 draw with Partick Thistle saw Hearts create plenty scoring chances, leaving Cathro and his coaching staff encouraged about attacking aspects of the team’s play.
He is determined not to look beyond the Aberdeen match as tricky away games at St Johnstone, Rangers and Celtic loom on the horizon.
“We haven’t taken the result we needed to take in the last match.
“It always depends on what everybody else around you does.
“In this situation, we want to simply and entirely focus on the game that is in front of us and do everything we can to get a positive result.
“After that, you can look at the other teams around you and see if something has changed. Looking past our match has no value just now. That would be a waste of time.
“We’re focused on doing everything we can to take care of our fixture on Sunday.”