Hearts v Hibernian: Ian Cathro calls for fire and ice in Scottish Cup derby

Hearts boss Ian Cathro with midfielder Don Cowie
Cathro (left) has been buoyed by back-to-back wins over Rangers and Motherwell

Head coach Ian Cathro wants Hearts to combine composure with "a bit of fire" at home to Scottish Cup holders Hibernian on Sunday.

It will be the 30-year-old's first taste of the Edinburgh derby.

"We need to make sure we feed off the energy in the stadium and the players give the fans reason to lift the noise level up," said Cathro.

"Inside of that, we need to play football, make the right decisions and play well."

Hibs knocked their city rivals out at this stage of the competition last season, coming back from 2-0 down at Tynecastle before prevailing in a replay; an outcome that put pressure on Cathro's predecessor Robbie Neilson.

"We all know the day is different, the build-up is different, the feeling in the stadium is different because it's a special game," said Cathro.

Hearts approach the tie in encouraging form, after beating Rangers and Motherwell in successive Premiership matches.

Cathro had endured a difficult run of results since replacing Neilson in December, but he believes he has a better balanced squad following the January transfer window.

Hearts signed nine new players, among them experienced figures such as the Slovenia international Andraz Struna, Anastasios Avlonitis, the former Olympiakos defender, and Greece international midfielder Alexandros Tziolis.

"We brought in more grown-ups that have different experiences from different places in the world and have lived through similar games [to the Edinburgh derby]", Cathro said. "That's important.

"I want pressure, I want players here who want pressure. We want the responsibility of delivering something that people remember, cherish, talk over, brag about, fight over. We want these days, big moments, and we look forward with being tasked of stepping up and delivering.

"As a professional, it's a game of football, but as a human being it's a bit more. Believe it or not, I'm both. I feel it and we respect it and understand it. We're excited for the game to start."

Hibernian striker Jason Cummings
Hibs knocked Hearts out of the cup after a replay last season

Cathro was part of the Newcastle coaching staff for games against Sunderland last season, so has direct experience of the pressures of derbies and their build-up.

He believes that background will help as he prepares his side for the challenge of trying to end Hibs' defence of the trophy.

"That was not particularly friendly come match time," Cathro said of the Newcastle v Sunderland games.

"That's a very real derby. I don't know where all these things rank, but the most important thing in this case is that this is the special one in this city and for this club.

"There's a tremendous history of the rivalry, key matches down the years and some more recent ones that feed into it all. It excites all of us.

"We understand and we feel how the fans feel about how important this game is, and everything that surrounds it. It's not something that we will hide away from. Our job is to try to win the game."

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