Celtic's Brendan Rodgers has empathy for Ian Cathro over Hearts sacking

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Rodgers questions Hearts recruitment

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has expressed sadness over Ian Cathro's sacking by Premiership rivals Hearts.

The Edinburgh club sacked their head coach earlier this week, seven months into his reign at Tynecastle.

"I have real empathy for Ian," said Rodgers, whose side open their league campaign against Hearts at Celtic Park on Saturday.

"I'm just sad for him that he hasn't been given the opportunity to do it how he wants to do it."

Cathro, 31, in his first managerial role, was described by Hearts as "an extremely talented young coach with a very bright future".

"Ian wanted to bring in his own ideas and he should," said Rodgers. "He's clearly proven that he was a very good coach and had some excellent jobs, particularly in Europe.

"He then came back and went to Newcastle; so he's obviously no fool. And he's obviously a very, very good coach.

'This sharpens your teeth as a manager'

"He was given the trust of the board and the people there at Hearts to take on the job and I'm just sad for him that he hasn't been given the opportunity to do it how he wants to do it."

Rodgers believes Cathro's reign appeared to be "confused" in terms of players the head coach wanted - and the team's style of play - and who the Edinburgh club added to the squad.

"For me, watching the team over the course of his period there, it's pretty clear - and I get a feel for what he wants to do and how he wants to work - but it always looked a little bit confused in terms of what he wanted and maybe what other people wanted," added the Celtic manager.

Former Hearts head coach Ian Cathro
Cathro - "a good thinker of the game" - will learn from his Hearts departure, according to Rodgers

"And that was clear, because when you see the style of football that I can see he's trying to coach, but then I look at the types of players that were brought in - and there's a mismatch.

"You know, you're trying to play football and you're bringing in players who play a direct game. So, it makes me ask about where the players are coming from? And if they're his?"

Rodgers insists that Cathro will learn from his experiences at Hearts and put that to good use managing his next club.

"He's a very good thinker of the game," he added. "This sharpens your teeth as a manager; you know that through all your work as a young coach and your assistant manager, there's nothing like being in the spotlight.

"When you're the number one it's totally different. He'll go away and think about what he could've done better and then he'll take that into his next job. Whatever job he gets, I'm sure the club will get a very, very good manager.

"He won't be looking at it now thinking it's good for him, because what happens is the phone rings and everyone forgets. He's clearly a very good coach, he'll get another job and he'll be a better manager for it."

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