Ian Cathro ponders three-man defence for Hearts next season

Ian Cathro
Ian Cathro
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Ian Cathro is considering using a three-man defensive system at Hearts next season. The Tynecastle head coach likes a back three and admitted he has had the formation in mind for some time.

It has been tried in recent weeks with varying degrees of success and Hearts players have spent time working on it at training. Cathro explained that three at the back is a genuine option for next season.

“It’s a possibility. We’ve done it in a couple of different ways, even when it was more of a back four but we used a midfielder a little bit differently.

“I think that’s something that has been positive for us. It’s something that’s in my mind.

“The first way we’ve done it is something that has always been on my mind when we bring the midfielder lower and play it from that point. There are a lot of situations where play doesn’t quite settle as quickly here as it maybe does in other places. That’s one of the things where I have to learn lessons as well.”

Defender Liam Smith believes the Edinburgh club have the correct players to execute a three-man defence. “I think it suits the players we’ve got,” he said. 
“I’ve played two roles in that system – I’ve been part of the three in central defence and 
I’ve played the wing-back role. I can adjust to that well. The wing-back position is good because you’re more involved in the build-up play. We’ve done quite a bit of work on it.

“We’ve played that way for the last three or four games so hopefully we’ll continue to work at it and see the results, both in the next two games and at the start of next season.”

Hearts visit St Johnstone this evening and then finish the Ladbrokes Premiership campaign on Sunday against champions Celtic in Glasgow.