Hearts boss Ian Cathro refuses to cede advantage to Hibs

Ian Cathro insists the William Hill Scottish Cup advantage has not swung from Hearts to Hibernian ahead of their Easter Road replay.

Hearts manager Ian Cathro looks ahead to their Scottish Cup replay with Hibernian on Wednesday. Picture: SNS
Hearts manager Ian Cathro looks ahead to their Scottish Cup replay with Hibernian on Wednesday. Picture: SNS

A drab goalless draw in the fifth-round clash at Tynecastle means the Edinburgh rivals have to do it again in Leith on Wednesday night.

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However, the Jambos head coach does not believe momentum has been lost by the Ladbrokes Premiership side.

He said: “Not at all. I didn’t feel that throughout the (first) game, I don’t feel it now.

“There is nothing about what happened in the first game that makes me feel any less convinced about what our position is in this game.

“The first game gives us information. We have played against the opponents, maybe they will be a little bit different but there won’t be too many changes I would imagine.

“Everyone feels quite clear with what we will be faced with.”

Hibs boss Neil Lennon lashed out at his players following the 1-1 draw with Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park even though it stretched the Easter Road side’s lead at the top of the Championship to seven points.

“We were an absolute disgrace”, said Lennon. However, Cathro insists the Hibs players did not need that dressing down to fire them up.

He said: “I think you would have that just the same as if they had won 5-0 at the weekend. I don’t see any difference”

Hibs knocked Hearts out of the cup last season on their way to winning the trophy for the first time in 114 years.

A 2-2 draw at Tynecastle was followed by a 1-0 win for Hibs in the replay at Easter Road.

Cathro, who took over at the Gorgie club in December following the departure of Robbie Neilson to MK Dons, has watched both games and believes the Hearts squad, which was bolstered by nine new signings in January, is better able to cope this year.

He said: “I think the biggest thing that stood out across the two games is how those games can swing, from momentum being with one side to momentum being with the other side.

“I am talking about last year’s games.

“You saw things starting to slip for one team and go for the other.

“What we have now is a stronger and more ready group, to be able to balance better the high of when it is going for us and also be able to deal with the situation when you have a difficult period of the game because we will have a difficult period of the game.

“You can’t be dominant for the entirety of the match.

“I see a Hearts team now that is stronger and more ready to deal with the part of the game when we need to suffer and need to fight.”

Meanwhile, Hearts have confirmed that work will begin on resurfacing their heavily-criticised Tynecastle pitch this week

Hearts owner Ann Budge told the club’s official website: “The work is scheduled to start this week, and we are assured, it will be completed well in time for our next home game against Ross County, on Wednesday, 1st March.”

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