Allan Preston: Experienced boss should replace Ian Cathro

Former Hearts player Allan Preston believes the Tynecastle club need an experienced boss in place following the failed Ian Cathro experiment.
Ian Cathro has been sacked by Hearts. Picture: Ian GeorgesonIan Cathro has been sacked by Hearts. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Ian Cathro has been sacked by Hearts. Picture: Ian Georgeson

The 31-year-old has been sacked after winning eight of his 30 matches in charge, the latest two a defeat at Peterhead and a home draw with Dunfermline in the Betfred Cup.

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The cup exit proved the final straw as director of football Craig Levein announced Hearts had “reluctantly” decided to take action before the start of the Ladbrokes Premiership season.

Preston said

Hearts sack head coach Ian Cathro: “(I’m) not surprised to be honest but disappointed because there is not a Hearts fan out there who didn’t want to see him succeed.

“Everyone wanted to see him do well but the amount of wins he had in the amount of games played, the ratio didn’t add up and I think Saturday was the final straw.

“No disrespect to Peterhead and teams like that but for Hearts to finish third in a group with Dunfermline and Peterhead above them is not acceptable.

“They were the only Premiership team not to go through. For a club the size of Hearts, 14,000 season-ticket holders, it just wasn’t acceptable and something had to give and it is a shame because every Hearts fan wanted him to succeed.”

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Hearts sack head coach Ian Cathro

Hearts previously had success with Robbie Neilson, who was only 33 when he took over as head coach before leading the club to the Championship title above Rangers and Hibernian and then back into Europe. He left them in second place in the league before joining MK Dons.

The club’s stated policy is to develop young coaches but Preston believes they need a major rethink.

“They need to get an experienced manager, someone who has managed before,” he said.

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“I wouldn’t say with a heavy hand but someone that commands respect in the changing room, a bit of authority, a bit of stature because there are good players at Tynecastle, I just think they need motivating.

“I am not saying Ian didn’t get respect but you need to motivate players and I felt that was a problem for him.

“All credit to Hearts for trying something different, it didn’t work out and now they have made the change.”

Levein’s influence will come under increased scrutiny and former Hearts skipper Michael Stewart asked questions of his former manager.

The former Scotland midfielder wrote on Twitter: “What does it say of DOF judgement that the situation is so bad they need to sack the head coach before the league season even starts”.