Hearts 1-2 Aberdeen: Head coach Ian Cathro says 'nothing will rock my confidence'

Hearts head coach Ian Cathro
Ian Cathro was an assistant coach at Newcastle and Valencia before landing the Hearts job

Ian Cathro insists he retains total confidence in his ability despite his Hearts side slipping to another defeat.

The Jambos are six points adrift of fourth-placed St Johnstone in the battle for a Europa League berth after Sunday's 2-1 home defeat by Aberdeen.

But Cathro, who was named head coach in December and has lost 10 of his 19 Premiership games, remains bullish.

"There is not one thing that could happen that will rock my confidence in my work - that's impossible," he said.

Cathro, who also oversaw a Scottish Cup defeat by rivals Hibernian in February, was aware of the widespread anger within the Tynecastle stands when he took midfielder Don Cowie off in the second half against the Dons.

Boos also rang out at the final whistle, and Cathro was jeered when he later emerged onto the pitch with the players to thank what fans remained in the ground for their support, after their final home game of the season, before Tynecastle's Main Stand is demolished.

"The fans are not happy, they are angry and upset and frustrated, because the team are not getting results," he told BBC Scotland. "I am the person who is responsible for that.

"I have absolute confidence in myself and in my work to find the things we need. We will deal with a bit of tension and anger, and we will build and grow. There will be different voices coming from that new stand."

'We don't need to go crazy'

Asked if he was confident he retained the support of Hearts owner Ann Budge and supporters, Cathro added: "I don't need that confidence because of the confidence I have in my work.

"Today's game could have been different. In football there are extremes. Sometimes we react, sometimes we over-react. Are we right to be angry and disappointed, given the result and the occasion? Yes. But we don't need to go crazy."

Aberdeen took the lead through Adam Rooney on Sunday and despite Esmael Goncalves' second-half leveller, Anthony O'Connor made it 2-1 three minutes later.

"The first half was a bit of a battle and Aberdeen probably had the better of us," Cathro added. "Our issue was trying to get started and finding that first pass a bit quicker.

"In the second half we improved those things and got back to 1-1 and close to getting control of the game, in the spaces where we wanted to be.

Cathro's decision to replace Don Cowie with Bjorn Johnsen prompted boos from the stands
Cathro's decision to replace Don Cowie with Bjorn Johnsen prompted boos from the stands

"But we made a mistake we can't make, we concede a goal and then things become far more difficult."

European football is looking unlikely for the Tynecastle outfit next season but 30-year-old Cathro is already planning on how he will make strides for next term.

"We have to bring in re-enforcements, we have to become stronger and work on these things," he said.

"One of our biggest focuses just now is looking towards next season and doing the work we have to do to get the strength right. Part of how we improve is also improving what we have here."

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