Hearts: Ian Cathro refuses to talk about future after League Cup exit

Ian Cathro watches as his side are knocked out of the League Cup
Ian Cathro watches as his side are knocked out of the League Cup

Hearts head coach Ian Cathro brushed aside questions over his future following the 2-2 draw with Dunfermline that saw his side exit the League Cup.

Only a late goal from Isma Goncalves saved Hearts from defeat within the 90 minutes, but the Championship visitors won 3-1 on penalties.

Even a win in the shoot-out would not have been enough for Hearts, who needed all three points to progress.

"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."

Don Cowie's opener for Hearts was cancelled out by Joe Cardle's stylish finish.

Declan McManus fired the Pars in front before Goncalves' scrambled equaliser.

Ann Budge (second left) and Craig Levein (right)
Owner Ann Budge (second left) and director of football Craig Levein (right) watched on as Hearts drew at home

The result means Hearts finish third in Group B behind the Pars and Peterhead, who beat Cathro's side in midweek.

That adds to the growing pressure on the former Rio Ave, Valencia and Newcastle coach, who was appointed as Robbie Neilson's replacement in December when the Edinburgh club were third in the Scottish Premiership.

They missed out on a place in the Europa League with a fifth-placed finish last season, while a Scottish Cup defeat by city rivals Hibernian also did not endear him to supporters.

Cathro has lost half of his 30 games in charge and won just eight of them.

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.

"Earlier in the game we were playing reasonably well, we scored a good goal. Dunfermline did well and it's a good individual goal.

"After that we started to be below the levels that we needed to be at. John Souttar is involved in an error for the goal but I take responsibility for that. I think John should have come off at half-time."

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