Hearts keeper Jack Hamilton has thanked Ian Cathro after his manager refused to hang him out to dry after his Hibernian humiliation.
And now the Tynecastle number one has vowed to repay Cathro’s backing by helping Hearts claim victory over Ladbrokes Premiership strugglers Hamilton on Saturday.
The 22-year-old was left red-faced last month as his side crashed out of the William Hill Scottish Cup at the hands of their bitter rivals.
Neil Lennon’s men were better all over the pitch than their Edinburgh neighbours but Hamilton bore the brunt of fan frustrations when he let Andrew Shinnie’s shot squirm past him as the Leith men wrapped up a resounding 3-0 win.
A number of supporters called for the Scotland squad keeper to be axed from Cathro’s team but the boss has refused to budge and suggested more needs to be done to boost the confidence of home-grown youngsters trying to make the breakthrough.
Now a grateful Hamilton has promised to do all he can to help take the pressure of his head coach, who has come under fire himself after mustering just four wins from his first 15 games in charge.
“It was brilliant of the gaffer to come out and say those things,” he said. “He has got everybody’s back in that changing room.
“Regardless of which player it is, the gaffer would come out and back them to the hilt.
“He has been brilliant for us - now it’s about us as players trying to go out and repay him by getting a win for him.
“Saturday is a massive game. We’re in fourth spot and European places are up for grabs so it’s a must win game.”
Hearts showed signs they were finally getting Cathro’s message when they wiped Rangers and Motherwell aside last month.
But the failings which blighted his first month in charge have returned and the Gorgie side are again on a run of five games without a win.
Hamilton, though, does not believe the introduction of nine new players in January is the reason for their struggles.
“I don’t think so,” he said, “We’ve got a lot of experience in there. They are top players who have played at top clubs around Europe.
“They have all come in and added a wee bit to the team. It’s just about trying to gel and trying to get results.
“We’re desperate to get out there and prove to everybody, especially the fans, that we were as good as we were against Rangers and Motherwell.
“Football is a funny game, things happen. Things don’t go your way all the time. Not everything is always perfect.
“Hopefully now we’ve come through our wee sticky patch and we’re just desperate to get the game at the weekend and try to prove to everyone just how good a side we are by getting a positive result.”