‘Give Ian Cathro a chance at Hearts’, urges Falkirk assistant & former fellow youth coach James McDonaugh



NEW Hearts head coach Ian Cathro should only be judged once he has been given the chance to prove his managerial credentials.

That is the view of Falkirk assistant manager James McDonaugh, another highly-regarded figure in Scottish football who has worked his way up the coaching ladder despite a lack of senior experience as a player.

McDonaugh was on the books with Alloa as a youngster but eventually dropped down to play for Whitehill Welfare in the East of Scotland league before making his mark as a youth coach at Hibs.

During his time in the youth circles, McDonaugh got to know Cathro, who was given his opportunity despite his tender years and lack of playing experience by Craig Levein at Dundee United.

And, though he insists he has not been aware of any prejudice in his own career, he insists any criticism of 30-year-old Cathro and his methods are far too premature following his appointment by Hearts this week.

McDonaugh commented: “I’ve known Ian Cathro for a number of years through youth football and I wish him all the best.

“I think people can be too quick to judge.

“I’ve been on coaching courses with him and he’ll bring his ideas with him, and you’ve got to give him a chance – everybody deserves a chance.

“I’ve never really had anyone face to face judging me because of my playing career. I played at Lowland League level, which wasn’t a bad standard.

“But you earn respect in other ways, with how you deal with people, how your team plays and what your reputation is in terms of putting on a good training session or getting your team playing the right way.

“I’m not saying Ian will or won’t do that – but he deserves the opportunity.

“People might say he’s not played professionally, but he’s still been assistant manager at Valencia and at Newcastle, so he must have done something right and impressed someone.

“You never know, it might kick Hearts on. It could also go the other way, but you’ve got to judge him once he’s been given the chance, and good luck to him.”