Hearts boss Cathro won't compromise his footballing philosophy to please critics

18 December 2016 11:53

Ian Cathro knows his new Hearts side are going to have to fight for the right to play his style of football.

But the rookie Jambos boss insists he will never adopt the crash-bang-wallop tactics which he believes are the signature of the Scottish game.

Cathro admits his first match at Tynecastle descended into "mayhem" on Saturday as Alan Archibald's determined Partick Thistle side refused to let Hearts have it their own way.

The underwhelming 1-1 draw will have been an eye-opening experience for the former Valencia and Newcastle coach. At his previous clubs, he worked with players whose market values ran into the millions, but his new employers operate on tighter budgets and the ability to scrap is crucial.

However, Cathro is determined to press ahead with his plans and implement a style that will take the fight away from Hearts' rivals.

Asked if he was going to have to adapt to the combative side of the Scottish game, the Dundonian said: "There is always that aspect of the nature of the game here, the culture of the game.

"But there is always one team who is leading the game. If you're leading the game then you get to determine the flow and the rhythm and the position of the players and so on.

"We were able to do that in small parts on Saturday, but we were able to do it and that's a positive.

"And if we had managed to do that for longer the game would have been the way we wanted it to be. We start to become the dictator.

"Of course it is more easy to do if the other team tries to do the same thing against you, because it stays in an organised way.

"Maybe here that is less likely to be the case every week.

"But we still have to do the things we believe are right to have more likelihood of winning. And that's what we'll do.

"Will we ever play a broken game? I don't think that will ever be the case, I'll never believe football to be that way."

Hearts dominated the first half against Thistle, but had only an 18th-minute Bjorn Johnsen goal to show for their efforts.

And when they dropped off after the break, Jags muscled their way back into the contest.

Sean Welsh levelled two minutes after the restart and only the impressive resistance of Jambos goalkeeper Jack Hamilton prevented them from snatching the win.

That was especially frustrating for winger Chris Erskine, who believes the Maryhill men deserve better than to be propping up the Ladbrokes Premiership from their current slot in 12th.

He said: "We spoke in the dressing room after the game and I said, 'How many times have we left with just a point or even none when we deserved all three?'

"It is disappointing, but the good thing is that we are doing the right things. Hopefully our luck changes soon.

"Looking at the table doesn't deflate us. It's obviously not good that we're in this position, but everyone can see how tight it is and I think it will be like this the whole season.

"It is up to us to try and pick up as many points as we can and develop a bit of consistency. Hopefully if we do that we'll move up the table."

Source: PA