08 Dec Calmness at Tynecastle
Ian Cathro described his first few days in charge of Hearts as “easy” while insisting there will be no “drastic” changes as he prepares to face Rangers on Saturday.
The 30-year-old former Newcastle assistant, who has never played or managed at the highest level, was confirmed on Monday night as successor to former head coach Robbie Neilson who left for MK Dons and who was named as Ladbrokes Premiership manager of the month for November.
At his first pre-match press conference as a boss ahead of the trip to Ibrox, Cathro said: “It has been long, busy and productive but quite natural because this is right place.
“And the reasons for that is there is really good staff, there are good people and the players are good professionals and they have enjoyed their work, they have wanted to work.
“It has been easy.
“There is not a point of making any real changes, or anything massively drastic, that is not what the situation is in this case.
“It is being efficient with our time, it is giving some messages and trying to improve some parts that we can but keeping everyone comfortable.
“The club and team is in a good place so there is no upheaval. It has been as smooth as it probably could be.”
Cathro, who will work with Austin MacPhee, the Northern Ireland assistant coach, insists he feels “fine” about the prospect of picking his first team as boss but acknowledged the buck stops with him.
“It is something you always do, even as an assistant,” he said.
The duo then moved to Valencia, steering them to a fourth-place finish in La Liga before Cathro returned to the UK with Newcastle.
“If you are doing your job well you always do it caring about it as much as if it is on your neck – the only difference is now it is.
“But the process of going through that and making that decision for yourself you always do as part of the staff and then the manager makes his call.”
Cathro, who also worked in Portugal with Rio Ave , also spoke about his first meeting with the Tynecastle players who helped his predecessor to win the manager of the month award.
He said: “I said hello, here is why I am here, here is the type of person standing here in front of you which is an honest one, a supportive one, one who will always tell the truth and we are here because we want to improve and there is space to improve.
“I am just hearing that Robbie has been awarded manager of the month and that was the work that him and his staff has done and of course the players.
“So congratulations to him and all his staff, some that are with him now and those still here but that is also in reference to the players.
“They know that they are in a good spot, there is a good team, a good feeling among them and we just want to make improvement.”