HEARTS requested the Scottish Cup replay date that head coach Ian Cathro has branded ‘crazy’, it has emerged.
The Tynecastle boss was left bemused by the fact his side would have to play Raith Rovers again on Wednesday night after Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Stark’s Park.
The former Valencia and Newcastle United number two admitted he had been so convinced the Jambos would win that he had not bothered to look at when the return match would be played.
But, after being told within minutes of the full-time whistle at the weekend, Cathro insisted it “doesn’t make sense” to have to play so soon.
“Playing Wednesday is not great,” he moaned. “It seems a bit crazy to play back to back.
“I understand there are a lot of scheduling demands, but that doesn’t make sense for a lot of reasons.”
However, it was, in fact, Cathro’s own club officials who asked for the tie to be decided on Wednesday night should the first game end in a stalemate.
The replay date was set well in advance of Sunday’s fourth round tie and was also circulated to the clubs in an SFA email as a reminder last Monday.
After a draw is made in the Scottish Cup, representatives of the opposing teams agree dates should the tie be postponed or require a replay.
It is convention for the team hosting any rematch to propose their favoured date and that is what happened in this case.
With Hearts playing Rangers next Wednesday, and the following week being too close to the fifth round ties, the Gorgie outfit were left with little choice but to go again this week.
However, with Cathro hitting out at a decision made by his own club officials, it is clear there has been a breakdown in communication between the boardroom and the dressing-room.
Meanwhile, Hearts will have the Tynecastle main stand open again for the encounter with Raith Rovers.
The enclosure was closed to supporters when the ground hosted Saturday’s tie between Bonnyrigg Rose and Hibs because of pre-planned building work.
The Gorgie outfit have begun the process of replacing their antiquated main stand with a modern state-of-the-art construction that is scheduled to be open by September.
However, with plans in place for builders to construct around the current stand until the summer, it will be open again for the visit of Raith as the Jambos seek to set up a mouthwatering fifth-round encounter with city rivals Hibs.
Hearts CEO Ann Budge told the club website: “We had to expedite and change some of the building site plans in order to ensure we could safely open all stands for the game.
“With the co-operation of our building contractors, I am pleased to say that we will be able to safely accommodate a full house.”