Hearts: Perry Kitchen impressed by "presence" of new head coach Ian Cathro

Perry Kitchen
Perry Kitchen has been impressed by new boss Ian Cathro

Captain Perry Kitchen says Hearts' new head coach Ian Cathro has a "presence about him" in the dressing room.

The 30-year-old's appointment as the youngest head coach in the top-flight generated a polarised response.

He has never played at a significant level, and several pundits questioned his ability to lead a squad of players.

"The sessions have been sharp and we're focused for the weekend, the guys are adjusting as quickly as we can," said American midfielder Kitchen.

"He has a presence when he comes into the dressing room to talk to the guys. [Cathro's age] is not an issue.

"He reiterated that he wouldn't be blowing things up as he might have been if [predecessor] Robbie [Neilson] had been fired, but he's here to just continue and build off what we have here. They're coming into a good situation here.

"We've had him for three days, he's come into a good situation and he's going to bring in new ideas, which is good, but we haven't gone into depth about that. He has a great resume, a great background and his ideas and philosophies will help us."

Ben Olsen
Kitchen worked under Ben Olsen, the youngest coach in MLS history when he took over DC United aged 33

Cathro was previously assistant manager at Rio Ave, Valencia and Newcastle, and this is his first move into management.

He appointed Austin MacPhee as his assistant, another young coach who never played at a high level, and the pair have been preparing the team for Saturday's visit to face Rangers at Ibrox.

Kitchen says that young head coaches are more commonplace in the MLS, and cited the example of Ben Olsen who became the youngest full-time head coach in the MLS's 15-year history when he took charge of DC United at 33.

"Ben Olsen, did great with us and it was his first professional head coach job," Kitchen said. "If you have knowledge about the game and you're suitable for the job [age] is not an issue.

"Just meeting [Cathro], seeing what he's about, Austin as well, I'd definitely say they're the right guys for the job.

"The first time [Cathro] came into the dressing room, there was a presence about him, his ideas, the tiny details, managing the guys. The last few days, from my point of view, have been impressive. Age is just a number, I wouldn't look into that."

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