Skipper switch casts doubt on Perry Kitchen’s Hearts future

Perry Kitchen has lost the captaincy to Christophe Berra.
Perry Kitchen has lost the captaincy to Christophe Berra.
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Perry Kitchen’s future at Hearts remains in doubt after the American midfielder was replaced as captain.

New signing Christophe Berra has been handed the armband, with head coach Ian Cathro stating that it is important to have greater continuity in that position. Despite the fact Kitchen is contracted to summer 2018, stripping him of the captaincy suggests there is little likelihood of him playing an integral part next season.

“Naturally he’s not had a great time personally, having not been in the side as often as any player would have liked, but that’s a personal thing,” said Cathro.

“These are things that happen as a team evolves, grows and moves on. It’s important that the role is a more constant role and it’s also important that we have a number of players who live their lives like that.

“My feeling is that we need more captains, we need more leaders, we need more players of stronger experience, of resilience, with more games in their background, good moments, bad moments, knowing they can go past a ten-minute spell in a game that is not going for us. We need more of those players.

“Throughout what was a very difficult five months or half a season, if you look at the performance level and the attitude and the influence level on the team Don Cowie has had then you see a leader. What we needed to be able to do is bring in more of those. It’s not something you switch on and off, it’s who they are and how they behave.”