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Tynecastle shake-out

Head coach Cathro to leave Hearts

Ian Cathro
Ian Cathro: out after seven months (photo by Terry Murden)

Head coach Ian Cathro is to leave Hearts just seven months after being put in charge of the Premier League club.

The 31-year-old, who was in his first managerial role, was dismissed following the weekend defeat to Championship side Dunfermline which saw the Tynecastle club exit the League Cup.

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.”

Cathro was appointed in December to replace Robbie Neilson who left to join MK Dons. His appointment was considered an ambitious move. But owner Ann Budge and director of football Craig Levein believed in giving youth a chance.

However, the team has under-performed and they begin the new campaign with four successive away games at Celtic, Kilmarnock, Rangers and Motherwell. In the last 13 months Hearts have won just five games away from home. Cathro has lost half of his 30 games in charge, winning just eight.

Hearts missed out on a place in the Europa League with a fifth-placed finish, and were knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Hibernian.

With a new stand being erected, the early exit from the League Cup is a setback for Budge’s hopes of a new dawn for Tynecastle club. That feeling of renewal has gathered momentum and enabled the club to tap into the latent Hearts support. It expects to sell 14,000 season tickets.

Budge will not want to see the hard work of rescuing and transforming the club undone by poor performances on the pitch.

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