A defiant Ian Cathro claimed the 2-1 defeat for his ten-man Hearts at Ibrox yesterday had merely emboldened him about the worth of the Tynecastle team he is building.
The loss extended hisrun without a victory to four games, drops his win rate across 24 games in charge to the 25 per cent mark and means Partick Thistle could yet edge them out for fifth place. Yet Cathro concentrated on the positive aspects of a day in which his team played with intelligence after losing Prince Buaben to a straight red card in
“For me, it’s mixed feelings,” Cathro said of the outcome. “Of course there’s disappointment but there were positive things too. Today, I am even more convinced that we will be a very good team.
“We were strong given we have conceded an early goal and are then a man down. That can rock you but our attitude, our approach, the intensity in our workrate and the quality in our play were consistent.”
Cathro took a bold approach in seeking to find a way back in from a 1-0 half-time deficit by switching to three at the back and retaining two strikers. That yielded an instant equaliser, but the visitors’ good work was undone when, within seconds, clumsy goalkeeping from otherwise impressive debutant Viktor Noring allowed Rangers to restore their one-goal advantage.
Noring, who replaced Jack Hamilton, found it difficult to deal with a cross that he dropped to allow Barrie McKay to net the winner. “A big day for him,” said Cathro. “He was deserving of the opportunity. He showed some qualities at times. Of course there’s the error on the cross, which becomes a bigger headline. He’s one of our two options.”