Ian Cathro: No need for 'drastic' changes at Hearts

Ian Cathro
Ian Cathro will face Rangers at Ibrox in his first match as Hearts head coach on Saturday

Ian Cathro insists there is no need to make "drastic" changes to the way Hearts play.

The new Hearts head coach, 30, believes his side are "in a good place", and he will not make radical alterations to the team's style of play against Rangers on Saturday.

"We've got to try to be as efficient as we possibly can," he said of the short time to prepare for Ibrox.

"There's no point in making any real changes or anything massively drastic."

Cathro met the Hearts players for the first time on Tuesday afternoon after being appointed as Robbie Neilson's successor. He stressed to the squad that there was no need to alter their approach, aiming to keep existing training routines in place.

"It's being efficient with our time, giving some messages and trying to improve some parts that we can, but keeping everyone comfortable, so there's no upheaval," he explained.

"People have got routines and working processes which have been good and will continue to be good. It's been smooth."

Cathro does not anticipate any nerves on Saturday - "because there never have been" - and is comfortable with the process of selecting his first staring XI as a head coach, after four years as assistant manager at Rio Ave, Valencia and Newcastle.

Joe Dodoo, John Soutar
Hearts won the first meeting between the sides this season, 2-0 at Tynecastle

The Scot says he knows what to expect from Rangers, but also that his players are fired up for the visit to Ibrox, having beaten Rangers at Tynecastle last Wednesday night in Neilson's last game in charge before moving to MK Dons.

"I see a good [Rangers] team, they have got a very clear idea [of how they will play]," Cathro said.

"They've also shown a little bit that they have some alternatives, there are other ways in which they can do things and they'll be clever with that. We'll need to be able to adapt, but we know what they are.

"We've got one more training session. If the players could remove Friday and go to Saturday tomorrow, they'd all vote for that, which we need to stay careful [about] and rest. But we'll be good to go, we'll compete and a lot of the other things will take care of themselves."

Furore over appointment 'a surprise'

Cathro, who started coaching at 23, continues to be "slightly surprised" at the widespread and polarised coverage of his appointment, but says he is entirely "relaxed" in the role.

"I feel really at ease because I've been preparing for this for a long time, I've been doing a lot of these things for a long time," he added.

"It's what I'm going to do - not for all of my life, I don't want to do it until I'm 65 because I'll probably be about 80 then in a mental state - for the next 20 years.

"This is me and we go day by day, trying to make ourselves better. Irrespective of the outcome, my job on Sunday is to be better, to help the players be better, to help the staff be better, to help the club be better.

"Of course, [I'm] looking forward to it, on a personal level I'm relaxed because it's a game of football and that's what I do. There are guys on the side who will throw their arms around and shout, but it's 11 v 11, football's about players.

"We're going to have a new stand and I want 20,000 people excited, running down the street to make sure they're there in time for the first whistle and having a great day. I want football to give that to people, that's what makes it special. I won't love to give that to people if we're not winning at the same time. It's a balance."

Top Stories

Get Inspired Activity Finder

Run by the BBC and partners

Find ways to get active near you: