Hearts: Head coach Ian Cathro is confident ahead of Scottish Cup replay against Hibs

Hearts head coach Ian Cathro
Ian Cathro took up his role as Hearts head coach in December 2016
Scottish Cup fifth-round replay: Hibernian v Hearts
Venue: Easter Road Stadium, Edinburgh Date: Wednesday 22 February Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Sport Online

Head coach Ian Cathro believes his Hearts squad has a stronger mentality than the team that was knocked out of Scottish Cup at Easter Road last term.

Hearts visit Hibernian in a Scottish Cup replay on Wednesday following a 0-0 draw in the first fifth-round tie.

And Cathro is convinced his players are ready for the derby 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," he said.

The Edinburgh rivals met at the same stage of the competition last season, in February, with Hibs winning the replay courtesy of a Jason Cummings goal.

"We have a stronger and more ready group 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. You can't dominate the entirety of the match," added Cathro, who joined Hearts in December.

"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."

Jason Cummings scored the only goal as Hibs saw off Hearts last season in the Scottish Cup
Jason Cummings scored the only goal as Hibs saw off Hearts last season in the Scottish Cup

Cathro, who hopes to welcome Don Cowie back into the first-team squad following a rib injury, reflected on his first experience of the Edinburgh derby by saying there was "less football, less quality" than other games.

He would not be drawn on the potential impact on the Hibs players of Neil Lennon's stark criticism in the wake of Saturday's 1-1 draw with Raith Rovers, saying that "those are internal things at another club".

However, he added that the cup holders are already more than capable of playing in the Premiership.

"On Wednesday, it is the most important thing in all our lives, to win the game," said Cathro.

"And, when we play the next game in a different competition, that will be the most important thing.

That winning feeling

"It really is that simple. We are fighting to become a team that knows how to win and gets used to winning, it becomes comfortable with the feeling that we need to win.

"I am happy with the idea that there is more pressure on us because of how much we want to win the game.

"You see inside Hibs a team that could very comfortable play in the top league without drastic changes and, over the last couple of seasons, if things go slightly differently then they would already be in this league.

"They are a top-league club in Scotland and I think they could comfortable be a top league team in Scotland.

"I am sure we can look forward to trying to beat them more often next season."

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