Hearts won’t rush into signings like in January – Ian Cathro

Ian Cathro believes Hearts will get player recruitment right this summer
Ian Cathro believes Hearts will get player recruitment right this summer
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Hearts coach Ian Cathro is determined to avoid a repeat of the rushed January transfer window after releasing six of the nine players he brought in.

He admitted today that the policy did not work because there was not enough time to properly plan a recruitment drive.

Alex Tziolis, Tasos Avlonitis, Andraz Struna, Lennard Sowah, Dylan Bikey and Moha Choulay have all left Tynecastle after just four months.

Only Esmael Goncalves, Malaury Martin and Aaron Hughes remain of the nine players recruited during a busy winter transfer window.

Cathro joined Hearts in December after his predecessor, Robbie Neilson, moved south to MK Dons. Strengthening the squad in January was a priority but the required quality did not arrive.

As a result, the Edinburgh club won only six of 26 matches from December onwards.

“It’s a reflection of the situation we were in during January. We needed to bring players in at that point,” admitted Cathro.

“We were only looking to do long-term business on things we were certain of and weren’t rushed on. Other circumstances forced us into needing to rush. For example, Callum Paterson’s injury, then John Souttar’s injury as well. We needed to adjust and use players in different positions. There was a lot of strain. It was partly circumstances and partly just down to how business goes in that window.”

The summer window has started encouragingly for Hearts fans with the return of former captain Christophe Berra. Cathro intends recruitment to be much more measured and precise this time round. “This one is different so we need to work hard. We have to do it properly, professionally and bring the right players and people to the club,” he added.

• HEARTS season ticket holders have been given free entry to all Hearts Ladies home matches at King’s Park in Dalkeith. The club’s women’s team will allow fans in for free provided they show their season ticket at the gate.