Hearts boss Ian Cathro adamant that progress has been made, despite frustrating Partick result



Hearts head coach Ian Cathro insists his team have made progress behind the scenes, even though the supporters struggled to see any signs of it during Saturday’s disappointing draw with Partick Thistle.

The former Valencia and Newcastle United assistant manager is attempting to instil his style of play on the squad after being unveiled as Robbie Neilson’s successor on December 5.

After having little time on the training pitch ahead of his dugout debut defeat at Rangers, Cathro’s maiden experience of Tynecastle did not go as planned at the weekend after the team was booed off in the 1-1 draw.

Bjorn Johnsen put the hosts in front but Sean Welsh levelled for the Jags minutes after the break and Hearts were fortunate to escape with a point.

But the 30-year-old, who takes his side to Dundee on Friday night, is adamant that he is seeing evidence of the team adjusting to his demands.

He said: “Throughout the week I had seen signs of progress, particularly in the first half; 100 per cent signs of progress.

“We’ve probably made a little bit more progress than what we saw. There were some positive steps but we need to keep progressing to make sure, come the next game, we’re in a stronger position.

“It’s about small improvements and small adjustments that evolve around having more control of the play and we managed to do that frequently in the first half.

“All I’ve spoken about and worked on is making little adjustments and little improvements to try and make the game swing for us more often and we’ll continue to do that.

“We’ll have a little bit more information, there’s a big number of lessons every single day just now and we, as a staff collectively, need to make sure we put them together and make sure we take steps forward.

“What I want to do is work with the players, learn about them, learn with them, share with them – spend good time on the training pitch.

“Time will show progress, what I want to do is help the players and team improve.”

Hearts travel to Dens Park on Friday and will play host to games against Kilmarnock and Aberdeen before the top-flight clubs enjoy a three-week winter shutdown.

And former Dundee United youth coach Cathro admits he plans to make the most of that time on the training pitch.

He added: “The break will give me more time to work with the players.

“The break will be a positive moment for us but rather than looking too far into that, you can make improvements day by day as well; slowly and small but that’s what we have to focus on.

“The period of time that we can have more time together is a positive for us and we’ll try and make sure that’s valuable for us.”