Ian Cathro won’t take any time off this summer as he strives to restore Hearts to a challenging position in Scotland. The Tynecastle head coach admitted he is stronger and more resilient than he thought after a difficult first season in management.
He plans to work throughout May and June whilst players are on holiday to ensure the best possible squad assembles at Riccarton for pre-season training. He won’t go on holiday, stating he has no interest in taking a break.
“I won’t be taking any time off during the summer,” he said. “I don’t see a break materialising and the first chance to have a break will probably come in the winter rather than the summer.
“The season has started to shrink. If we do our work properly then I don’t envisage having any time off. I may go skiing or something in the winter. I have no interest in time off at this moment in time.”
After a run of just six wins in 23 matches since he replaced Robbie Neilson last December, Cathro has endured criticism from fans at Tynecastle. However, he declared his strength of character when asked how he has coped.
“I am even stronger than I thought I was, I am more resilient than I thought I was, and I am even more confident than I thought I was. That is how I feel,” he said.
“In football, my take is that every time something rocks you and you stop seeing what is happening, then you are all over the place. I think there have been a reasonable number of attempts to make me rocky. I don’t change, we don’t change, my insides don’t change.
“One of the important things prior to starting my first [managerial] job was that I wanted to start at a clean point in pre-season. The fact that this happened at this club and it was this situation and it was mid-season, it was impossible to say no to.
“In that respect I broke my own rule. That can go a number of ways. The important thing is that we all take value from the period of time that we have been here and use that to be better.
“I don’t see any set of circumstances that is going to dent my confidence and belief in delivering football.”
Hearts are favourites to re-sign former captain Christophe Berra for next season but Cathro is remaining tight-lipped. “Up until the end of the season I will not pass comment on any speculation no matter how good or how big the story is,” he said. “We will deal with the remainder of the season and then take things from there.”