Scottish football: Ian Cathro, Izaguirre, Wotherspoon, Dundee, Edinburgh City

Rob Maclean continues his weekly assessment of the main talking points from the weekend's action.

Cathro must strengthen to keep Hearts ticking

Media playback is not supported on this device

Highlights: Rangers 2-0 Hearts

Ian Cathro's first 90 minutes as Hearts head coach must have had his mind wandering towards next month's transfer window.

The club has made giant progress in the last couple of years but that momentum must be maintained and the playing squad needs strengthened.

Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Ibrox, although Hearts had a goal wrongly ruled out, underlined their defensive deficiencies. Rangers' first goal was an unchallenged header from a free kick. The second featured two failed attempts to cut out a bread-and-butter cross.

Attacking options are limited as well. Tony Watt and Connor Sammon have had plenty of chances and now seem to be bit-part players.

Cathro's come through that incredible media frenzy sparked by his appointment. Now he needs to deliver on his promise to keep Hearts moving in the right direction.

Revitalised Izaguirre looks a player again

It's amazing what a Brendan Rodgers makeover can do. Even Emilio Izaguirre is looking like a player again.

The Honduran left-back signed for Celtic six-and-a-half years ago and was a star turn in his first season of Scottish football, sweeping up most of the major awards for top performer.

Izaguirre broke his ankle at the start of the following campaign and has never really recaptured the sort of form he displayed when he first got here.

Recently he's been shunted into the shadows by teenage star Kieran Tierney but the youngster's prolonged injury absence has allowed Emilio back into the team.

He's grabbed his chance. Izaguirre showed his confidence levels are on the rise with assured displays in the 1-1 draw at Manchester City last midweek and in a 4-1 win at Firhill on Friday.

Diligent Wotherspoon epitomises Saints spirit

Media playback is not supported on this device

Highlights: Aberdeen 0-0 St Johnstone

David Wotherspoon caught my eye on Saturday in an impressively-organised St Johnstone display against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

Not just because he rattled a late free-kick against the inside of the post, although it was a brilliant strike and just a fraction away from winning all three points for the Perth team.

Nor because Wotherspoon was notching up a milestone for Saints - a 150th appearance for his hometown team.

No, it was his overall performance that grabbed my attention. An attacking midfielder by trade, he was diligent in his defensive duties, constantly stemming the attacking flow of Aberdeen left-back Graeme Shinnie.

Wotherspoon was impressive going forward as well and was unlucky not to hammer home a set-piece match-winner.

Only Old Firm in better form than battling Dundee

Media playback is not supported on this device

Highlights: Dundee 0-0 Ross County

What a rousing revival from Dundee, who were in danger of being cast adrift at the bottom of the Premiership towards the end of October.

I did fear for the Dark Blues at that point and for the future of manager Paul Hartley. It was hardly surprising they were struggling, having sold their top players Greg Stewart and Kane Hemmings, but supporter sympathy runs out pretty quickly.

Dundee are far from out of the woods yet but they've certainly rallied in terms of results. A Dens Park draw with Ross County at the weekend means they have taken 10 points from their last six matches. On current top-flight form, only Celtic and Rangers can better that.

They're still likely to be at the wrong end of the league table come the end of the season but the battling qualities they're showing at the moment could serve them well when it comes to the crunch.

Capital comeback kings City on the rise

And talking of a turnaround, let's hear it for the League Two comeback crew at Edinburgh City.

Promoted from the Lowland League at the end of last season, the part-timers had a measly four points on the board at the start of last month from their first 11 SPFL games and looked as if they were in grave danger of going back where they'd come from.

Then City got their first win of the season - at Forfar in the Scottish Cup - and they haven't looked back.

They're now unbeaten in their last six league matches, picking up 14 points in the process from four wins and two draws. That's the best form in the division.

Edinburgh City are now three points off the bottom of a tightly-packed league - in seventh place - and looking to extend their remarkable recovery. For me, it's one of the Scottish football stories of the season so far.

Top Stories