Ian Cathro calls for unity as Hearts are booed off

Hearts head coach Ian Cathro acknowledges the fans ahead of his home bow. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
Hearts head coach Ian Cathro acknowledges the fans ahead of his home bow. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
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New Hearts head coach Ian Cathro has appealed for unity after his Tynecastle debut ended amid a chorus of boos.

The 30-year-old was jeered at full-time after his team put on a limp display as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Partick Thistle.

But Cathro, who also had to withstand jeers when he replaced goalscorer Bjorn Johnsen with 18 minutes left, reckons the fans were right to voice their frustration. He said he would be more worried if the supporters had stayed silent.

The former Valencia and Newcastle coach, pictured, said: “We all feel the same reaction. I can’t boo because I’ve got to try and help find the solution.

“But players, fans, staff – our reaction is the same because we feel the same thing. We just have to stay together – and we will.

“Was I surprised by the booing at the end? No, because it’s a natural human reaction – ‘We didn’t get what we wanted, we’re not happy’.

“But I’m not happy. The players didn’t get what they wanted and they’re not happy. So [the booing] is just the voicing of that and that’s normal. If we reach the point down the line where we draw at home and everyone is fine with it, I’d be more upset with that. But we’re not fine with this.”

Johnsen headed home the opener after 17 minutes when he connected with Liam Smith’s sublime cross.

But the hosts failed to build on their lead and, after Prince Buaben went off with a calf issue at half-time, they struggled to regain their grasp on the game.

That allowed a fired-up Partick side to roar back into the contest and level with Sean Welsh’s header just two minutes after the restart.

And only a couple of breathtaking stops from goalkeeper Jack Hamilton against Thistle forwards Chris Erskine and Kris Doolan prevented Partick taking all three points. But Cathro tried to remain positive, saying: “Some bits were good and I was really pleased that the players are completely focused and working really hard on taking the little steps we want them to take.”