PETER HOUSTON believes Ian Cathro has the mental strength to learn from his ill-fated spell at Hearts and ‘move on quickly’ after his sacking.
Houston has himself been named as a possible successor to Cathro at Tynecastle but has refused to comment on being linked with the post, which would reunite him with director of football Craig Levein, his former boss at Scotland, Hearts, Leicester City and Dundee United.
Instead, the Falkirk boss expressed his hope that Cathro, who was youth coach during Houston’s spell in charge at United, will recover from the blow of being sacked just seven months into his first managerial role.
And Houston is adamant the 31-year-old’s brief tenure in Gorgie could prove invaluable if the former Valencia, Rio Ave and Newcastle United number two opts to return to frontline management in the future.
Houston said: “There’s been a lot of pressure on Ian since the weekend but with the experience he’s had at Hearts, if he decides he wants to continue in management, it will stand him in good stead.
“I just hope that he picks the bones out of his time at Hearts and moves forward.
“He’ll bounce back and I just hope the experience of working at that club will make him a better manager in future.
“I hope when he reflects on and evaluates his time at Hearts, and thinks about what he could have done differently, it will serve him well.
“I know when big Craig left Leicester City he evaluated his time there and asked himself what he would do next.
“As a manager, you need to think about things and ask yourself what caused it and better it next time.
“I’m sure Ian will look at it and evaluate things and next time do some things differently.
“It’s hard for him just now but it’s up to him and his qualities to become better, and I’m sure he’ll be better for it.
“He’ll move on and I think he’s a strong enough character, mentally, to move on quickly.”
After nearly two decades as a coach, Houston stepped out of the shadow of Levein to become a manager in his own right for the first time with United in 2009, winning the Scottish Cup months later.
He knows from making that move himself that distinct qualities are needed for both roles and reckons Cathro will now be fully aware of that fact.
He added: “I feel for him, because he’s a young guy, with good ideas and someone who’s good on the training field.
“But the experience of management is totally different to coaching.
“I’ve obviously been an assistant-manager myself, so I know that from my own experience.”