Ian Cathro was awestruck when he saw Hearts’ new £12million main stand finally become “real” this week. Now the head coach is determined to lavish supporters with a team worthy of what promises to be a stunning arena.
Work on the structure, which will increase the capacity of their home to more than 20,000, accelerated this week with the erection of the steel frame, affording a genuine idea of the scale of the project.
Cathro, pictured, was at Tynecastle in midweek for a Junior Jambos’ signing session and, walking past the imposing skeleton, could not help but be enthused by the future.
“It’s great to see it starting to take shape now, it makes it feel a bit more real,” he smiled. “You start to envisage the main stand rising up, you can see it’s still going to be close to the pitch. It’s massively inspiring to me, building a squad here.
“That’s one of the biggest reasons why this was the right step for me to take – because of the ambition that exists, the investment in the infrastructure and the desire for this club to grow.
“We’re not settling for just doing OK, we want it to grow.”
With the post-split Premiership fixtures announced yesterday, it was confirmed that Hearts will play their final match in front of their iconic 103-year-old Archibald Leitch-designed main stand when Aberdeen visit Tynecastle on 7 May.
That will be followed by away trips to Rangers, St Johnstone and Celtic in an onerous run-in.
Hearts then start their league campaign next term with a series of fixtures on the road, which could be seen as a cause for concern for a side which has won just three Premiership games away from home all season. Rectifying that statistic at Rugby Park tonight would be a welcome step towards allaying those fears.
“We knew it would be the case with the league allowing us to have the last three away to accelerate work on the stand,” explained Cathro. “So we need to address [away form].
“We need to be strong and make the right decisions. Sometimes it’s a little psychological bit you have to step past.”
Cathro also addressed the lengthy statement released by Hearts owner Ann Budge which, among myriad topics, pledged her unwavering support for the head coach.
He added: “We speak a lot so there was nothing new to me in the statement. We have regular dialogue about a whole number of things and that’s one of the things that’s really refreshing about the club – the communication and transparency.”