Hearts boss Ian Cathro has explained what happened at full-time following Hearts’ 2-1 Betfred Cup loss to Peterhead on Tuesday, following accusations from opposite number Jim McInally that Cathro had snubbed a handshake and disrespected his team.
Rory McAllister’s late penalty secured a shock win for the Blue Toon that sparked understandably enthusiastic celebrations on the home bench.
Reluctant to interrupt those, Cathro headed up the tunnel to address his own players and attend to his post-match media duties, but was keen to emphasise that he did not intend to blank McInally.
“After the game, I turned and walked like everyone does to see the opposition manager,” he said. “At that point, they were still in the middle of their party and celebrations. I lingered for a split-second but I was naturally disappointed at that point.
“So rather than wait any longer, I went inside because I was dealing with my own things, my own team and my own priorities.
“I missed Jim in that situation and when I went to do the media, I know the staff went to see Jim specifically, congratulated Peterhead and wished them well this weekend. They are also at a point where they can qualify so well done to them.”
Cathro stressed he has no issue with McInally’s comments and revealed how he looked up to the former Dundee United midfielder when growing up. “I have no negative reaction to that, I have no problem,” he insisted. “I don’t know Jim personally but I certainly remember him at Dundee United when I was a young boy watching them.
“He played with Dave Bowman, who I know very well, and he talks very well of him. Jim was a top player and I have no desire to be anything other than positive about him and his team.”
Asked if he would be calling the Peterhead boss, he replied “Would I call him? No. I have no problem but everybody has phones ...”