Ian Cathro has warned underperforming Hearts players that they will be shipped out of Tynecastle if they don’t show the required fight and desire.
The head coach is still reeling from Wednesday night’s timid display in the 3-1 Scottish Cup replay defeat by Hibs. He says some of his team aren’t doing the Hearts badge justice on the pitch. He told the Evening News how he may have overestimated certain individuals within the squad, and that supporters are right to feel let down by the surrender at Easter Road.
Hearts’ focus for the remainder of the season is now achieving a place in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League. To do so, they must finish at least third in the Ladbrokes Premiership. They are currently five points off that position.
Cathro advised players that they won’t last at Tynecastle if they cannot muster the energy and desire demanded by the Edinburgh club and their fans.
“There are individual questions. I’ve said we’ve maybe overestimated the stage that we’re at. Maybe I’ve overestimated some players,” he said.
“Your motivation is inside you all the time. I’m talking about the motivation to do the basic things. You have to fight for things, be quick and want to win, scrap, fight.
“All those things are inside and we’re all individually responsible for those issues. We work together on these things but, if a player needs convinced to fight and to scrap and to want to win the ball, then he won’t be playing for Hearts.”
League business resumes tomorrow for Hearts when they meet Partick Thistle at Firhill. Cathro acknowledged that it will take longer than a few days to get over the disappointment against Hibs.
“It helps us that we have a game quickly because it’s an opportunity but we can’t right this wrong. It will take a very long time to right this wrong,” he admitted. “We just need to show that the badge on the shirt means more, and that everybody who wears it really, really fights for it.”
Asked if he learned about which players can and can’t survive in an environment like Easter Road, Cathro replied: “There were individual situations in Wednesday’s game where that was clear to see. They’re things that we all have to take responsibility for.
“The fans are right to feel let down. We let them down. We know that it hurts. We hurt too and we know we have a lot of making up to do.”