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  1. Hearts part company with head coach Ian Cathro
  2. Cathro, 31, had been in charge for seven months
  3. Tynecastle board praises outgoing Cathro following 'difficult decision'
  4. Move comes ahead of opening weekend of Scottish Premiership season
  5. Club to issue further statement on Wednesday regarding 'management plans'

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Cathro's Hearts reign over

So, a first managerial casualty of the Scottish football season before a ball has been kicked in the league in anger.

Hearts part company with Ian Cathro ahead of the new Scottish Premiership season, with the Edinburgh club revealing that they'll provide a further update tomorrow on their "management plans".

We'll keep you up to date on any further developments from the Edinburgh club, with Tom English to file his thoughts later...

Former Hearts head coach Ian Cathro

Ian Cathro's Hearts reign

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Hearts: Ian Cathro's Tynecastle tenure

Get Involved - Cathro reaction

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Michael Harrison: Feel sorry for him but it had to happen, Levein should also go but glad they've kept Austin MacPhee.

Get Involved - Cathro reaction

#bbcsportscot & BBC Sport Scotland Facebook page

Get Involved - Cathro reaction


'Feel sorry for Ian Cathro'

Michael Stewart

Former Hearts captain and now BBC Sport Scotland pundit

"It was just a matter of time, quite clearly Saturday’s result was the defining game. But there’s a bigger picture here. To a certain extent I feel sorry for Ian Cathro, he was so clearly not adequate for the job and his shortcomings were clear for everybody to see.

"The bigger picture for me is the management structure above that put Ian Cathro in the position because it was such a glaring mistake. It was a guy who was drowning in the position he was in and I look up above him and he seemed to get very little support publicly from his boss, and his boss has now fired him. How can sacking a head coach days before the start of the season not draw the question of how did he see this as a good appointment?

"You’ve given him the summer, recruited players, given him pre-season to work with players and sack him days before the start of the league season. That is an indictment on the judgement of that director of football."

Hearts' director of football Craig Levein has yet to comment on today's developments.

Get Involved - Cathro reaction

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Douglas Bell: I think he has a good future in football, but we live In the here and now, and 4 wins in 26 games wasn't going to help his cause.

James Campbell: Didn't get a chance!

Evan Macdonald: Only surprise is that the club didn't take this decision at the end of last season.

Get Involved - Cathro reaction


Get Involved - Cathro reaction

BBC Sport Scotland Facebook comments

Colin Darroch: One of the worst appointments of all time? Good that Hearts took action before the league started, it gives them some chance of having a decent season.

Harry Hardman: Gary Locke for me!! Give the guys chance with no strings attached to him

Stuart Menzies: Hearts are a good club. But Ian Cathro seemed way out of his depth here. A good coach doesn't make a good manager. Good luck to whoever comes in, they're gonna need it.

Get Involved - Cathro reaction


Get Involved - Cathro reaction


Hearts job 'wonderful for Pressley' - Stewart

Michael Stewart

Former Hearts captain and now BBC pundit

"I would like to see Steven Pressley brought in. Steven has a good relationship with Craig Levein, but I’m still not convinced that he would take the job in the current circumstances.

"Steven’s had a number of difficult jobs. He’s picked good clubs at bad times and he’s in a position where the Hearts job would be wonderful for him and he would be a fantastic manager for Hearts.

"He’s a person of real stature, he has a presence, and I’ve seen first-hand how he is with people, man-management, and he’s a very good coach as well. He’d be an ideal appointment for Hearts..."

Get Involved - Cathro reaction


Hearts update...

"A further statement will be made tomorrow in relation to management plans for this weekend’s Ladbrokes Premiership match against Celtic and longer term," says the club.

Hearts owner Ann Budge (second from left), with Eric Hogg (centre) and Director of Football Craig Levein
The Hearts board will make a further statement tomorrow on "management plans" ahead of facing Celtic

Elvis to return to Tynecastle?

Former Hearts captain Steven Pressley is the 4/1 favourite to take over as manager of the Edinburgh club, according to Scottish Premiership sponsors Ladbrokes.

Pressley, 43, has turned down offers to manage in Scotland since leaving Fleetwood Town last year.

He previously managed Falkirk and Coventry City.

  • 4/1 Steven Pressley
  • 5/1 Paul Hartley
  • 10/1 Gary Naysmith
  • 10/1 Allan Johnston
  • 12/1 Jim McIntyre
  • 12/1 Tommy Wright
  • 16/1 David Weir
  • 20/1 Alan Stubbs
  • 20/1 Alex McLeish
  • 20/1 Terry Butcher
  • 25/1 Ronny Deila
Former Hearts captain Steven Pressley
Could Steven Pressley be in line for a return to Tynecastle?

Opening run 'make or break' for Hearts - Berra

Speaking on Monday, Hearts captain Christophe Berra says the first four league games of the season are "make or break" for the Edinburgh club.

Hearts' first four Premiership games are away to Celtic, Kilmarnock, Rangers and Motherwell.

"These games make you or break you and hopefully they're going to be the making of us," Berra said.

The 32-year-old reckons that, following a tough week in the League Cup. there is "no better game to bounce back" in than away to champions Celtic on Saturday.

Christophe Berra: 'Responsibility lies with the players'

"At the end of the [Dunfermline] game, the fans weren't happy, first and foremost, and the players can sense that," Berra said.

"It's not just on the manager, it's the players as well, we're not getting results. We're the ones who cross that white line.

"We're the ones on the pitch, not taking chances or making mistakes that lose the game. So, in the end, the responsibility lies on the players and we need to do better as well."

Cathro's Hearts reign...

Ian Cathro's Hearts reign

Get Involved - Cathro reaction

Get Involved - Cathro's successor?


'Thunder in the Tynecastle stands'

Tom English

Chief sports writer, BBC Scotland

"Tynecastle was an angry place on Saturday in the wake of Hearts' exit from the Betfred Cup. The thunder screamed out of the stands at Ian Cathro who cut a lonely figure as he exited the stage for what turned out to be the last time. Maybe he knew in his heart of hearts that the game was up. When your own fans turn against so completely then there's nowhere to go but the exit door.

"Cathro's appointment was a gamble worth taking, but clearly it's been an awful failure. Over the course of his reign Hearts have performed like relegation fodder instead of a side trying to push towards European football. There isn't a single thing you can offer in his defence. This experiment had to end."

Ian Cathro
Cathro's Tynecastle tenure has drawn to a close

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BBC Sport Scotland Facebook comments

John Clark: I'm a Celtic fan and I think that this is a joke. We all have our own views and mine was I honestly thought in this coming season he would improve them.

Steve Brockie: Probably the right call but a total shambles they've got themselves into, days before the league season starts. No manager and a bunch of his [Cathro's] signings to work with. Craig Levein should have left as well - his appointment - his responsibility ultimately.

Scottie Taylor: Peter Houston in with a shout if it's Craig Levein's call - he and Levein have history at Dundee United and did well there. Tough for a new guy going in, will have to work with what he's got and get a good start.

Get Involved - Cathro reaction

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Costly League Cup campaign...

Former Newcastle United, Valencia and Rio Ave coach Ian Cathro was appointed head coach at Tynecastle in December, working under the club's director of football Craig Levein.

The Scot oversaw a 2-0 defeat away to Rangers in his first game, and in the 22 Premiership matches he was in charge last term his side lost 13, drew four and won five.

As a result, the Jambos finished fifth and missed out on a spot in Europe.

His side were also knocked out of the Scottish Cup in a replay against city rivals Hibernian.

Ian Cathro

Cathro was backed in the summer as the club brought in a number of new faces, including Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty and Scotland defender Christophe Berra.

The Gorgie men open their Premiership campaign at Celtic Park on Saturday, but results in the League Cup appear to have cost Cathro.

Hearts started the group stage with wins over Elgin City and East Fife but lost at League One outfit Peterhead and then drew 2-2 with Dunfermline, losing the resulting penalty shootout and crashing out of the tournament.

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BBC Sport Scotland Facebook comments

Darren Knowles: Now the pressure is on whoever comes in because it'll be Cathro's signings he'll need to deal with. There won't be much money in the pot for new signings after having to pay to get shot of the manager!

Morag Abercrombie: I think we have a decent squad with another midfielder and new goalkeeper. I'm certain a more experienced manager will get more out of them. I would like to see Michael O'Neill considered and keep Austin McPhee but not sure he would work with Craig Levein in the background. As long as it's not another experiment.

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Cathro was coy over his future

Cathro's final game in charge was the League Cup draw with second-tier Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday - followed by a penalty shoot-out defeat - a result that saw the Edinburgh club out of the competition.

Following the game, Cathro declined to comment on his future.

"Of course things need to improve," Cathro, 31, told BBC Scotland.

"It's important that today we just talk about today's game. It doesn't need to be anything that's more grand than that."

When asked if he had a message for the fans who made their feelings known as Cathro headed down the tunnel following the Dunfermline defeat, he said he will "not waste my time making comments or asking for anything".

He added: "I don't say anything, I will quietly continue to do my job professionally, believing in the work that we do.

"If we had the urgency and intensity that we did when we felt that we needed to push at the end for the entirety of the 90 minutes then we'd be discussing a different situation."

Ian Cathro's final game in charge was the League Cup draw with Dunfermline last weekend
Cathro's final game in charge was the League Cup draw with Dunfermline last weekend

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Hearts supporters: what do you think about Cathro's departure? Who do you want to see succeed him in the Tynecastle hotseat?

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Cathro leaves Hearts

Hearts have parted company with head coach Ian Cathro after seven months in charge.

The 31-year-old, who was in his first managerial role, appears to have paid the price for a shock League Cup exit.

A Hearts statement read: "The board wishes it to be known that this was a very difficult decision, reluctantly made, as every member of the board recognises Ian is an extremely talented young coach with a very bright future.

"We thank Ian for all of his efforts and wish him well in the future."

Ian Cathro
Ian Cathro's Hearts tenure has drawn to a close after only seven months in charge