Ian Cathro spent the night glued to his screen, indulging in what many Hearts fans would consider a horror show. He was poring over the footage of last season’s cup matches against Hibernian because, while the personnel have changed, the Hearts manager still wanted to work out why it all went wrong.
“I was up all night the other night watching both games, back to back, and a lot has changed. There are a lot of different players, maybe less so on Hibs’ side. Of course, you appreciate what this game brings and what this fixture brings but we also know that whatever we do in this game, nothing makes up for previous games. We deal with this game as a single game and we focus on that and deal with that.
“Watching it more so to just get a sense of how everybody is. Sometimes you know that the game is starting to go in another way so you are looking for what might be feeding into that, what might be the problems, what are the first couple of dominoes in there. Often it is not the goal, it’s often something maybe five minutes before that or somebody starts to do something differently or somebody’s mentality changes, or someone who had been going forward to press is maybe thinking they will just wait, and a lot of knock on effects can be building up. That is what I was watching for. I wanted to get a feel for the game, and a feel for some of the players who are still with us and to just inform myself a little bit more about how those games turned and how the teams played.”
His assistant Austin MacPhee took in Hibs’ draw with Ayr United last weekend but, although that was a below-par showing by the Easter Road team, Cathro, pictured, says they learned nothing new. “They maybe started the game a little bit differently but they evolved to what has been a fairly normal process for them throughout the season. I think we are in an informed position re the threats they bring.”