Ian Cathro conceded Hearts must grow up after surrendering a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 at Dens Park last night – but insisted they won’t repeat their mistakes.
The Tynecastle head coach said he has learned all the necessary lessons having watched his team squander a two-goal advantage on Tayside.
Urging his players to take responsibility, he admitted they were in total command against Dundee thanks to Jamie Walker’s penalty and Callum Paterson’s header.
They would have been out of sight but for the goalkeeper heroics of Dundee’s Scott Bain.
The hosts then recovered to score three second-half goals through Darren O’Dea, Paul McGowan and Marcus Haber. The result left Cathro seething as he seeks his first win after three games in charge.
“Right now it’s difficult. Ultimately, we were entirely in control of the game and we threw it away,” he said.
“I think I’ve got all the lessons I need. I’ve had two weeks and in that time there have been a lot of lessons. I don’t think that will happen again.
“When the game reaches a point where you have that dominance then it’s down to your management of the game. You need leadership, strong mentalities and to understand how to manage minute-by-minute. The [eight-minute] stoppage for Don Cowie’s injury was a unique circumstance and we lost control.
“These are our mistakes. It’s on-pitch management and leadership to keep on top every minute. If that was the case, I’d be telling you all the good things we did in the first 50 or 55 minutes. We’d then be looking forward with a different slant.
“It’s important to remember we did good things but the big thing is our failure to manage the latter part of the game.
“We’ve all got to grow. Everybody’s got to have a part of the leadership. We need people to grow up as well.”
Cowie was stretchered off in the second half with Hearts leading 2-1. “We don’t know how he is yet, he went to hospital. He took an upper body knock,” added Cathro.
Dundee manager Paul Hartley admitted his side could easily have been finished by half-time, so poor was their first-half performance. The victory propels them three places from tenth to seventh in the Premiership table.
“We were a team of individuals in the first half,” said Hartley. “We went with a 3-4-3 formation and we looked all over the place. The players deserved great credit for getting back into it. We knew if we got balls into Hearts’ box we would get chances. I read the riot act at half-time because we were poor in the first half but the players responded in the second half.
“Once we got the first goal, the injury to Cowie maybe did us a favour because it stopped the play. We could’ve been dead and buried in the first half but that’s why the goalkeeper is there, to stop shots.”