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Reacting to fans’ anger would be a waste of time, says Hearts boss Ian Cathro

Hearts manager Ian Cathro (SNS Group)
Hearts manager Ian Cathro (SNS Group)

HEARTS boss Ian Cathro claims he doesn’t feel under any pressure despite being barracked by the home fans as his team crashed out of the League Cup.

Supporters chanted for the manager to go during and at the end of their draw with Dunfermline.

The result means Hearts finished third in Group B behind Peterhead and the Pars.

Cathro did little to inspire the Tynecastle faithful last season and they are running out of patience with the 31-year-old.

While he acknowledged his team had not been good enough, he refused to discuss the crowd’s reaction.

He said: “You want my reaction to the anger in the stands? I don’t have one.

“I don’t waste time reacting to those things.

“I don’t feel any more pressure now than I have done after any other game.

“Believe me, I’ve been at angrier stadiums before.

“But, of course, across the piece it’s a result which is far from acceptable and not good enough.

“It’s difficult for the players to come to a stadium where the fans are expressing displeasure, but we need to be a team who aren’t warped by that.

“I just need to be professional and to improve things on the pitch.”

Cathro left Jamie Walker – constantly linked with Rangers – out of his squad after the midweek defeat to League Two Peterhead.

He said: “Jamie has been dealing with a remarkable degree of speculation and attention. Initially he dealt with it well.

“However, he’s struggled to maintain his performance and focus levels with us. He has to understand that there are levels which have to be matched on a daily basis. If you can’t do that, you won’t have a place in the squad or the team.”

Dunfermline’s Joe Cardle (centre) celebrates his goal with his team-mates (SNS Group)

Hearts needed to win this game but failed despite Don Cowie scoring after 20 minutes.

The goal was the one bright spot of a pretty insipid first 45 minutes from the Jambos.

Cathro seems determined to stick with a three-man defensive formation but they gained no advantage from having extra men in midfield.

Defender John Souttar had an afternoon he’d rather forget.

He didn’t cover himself in glory when Joe Cardle was allowed to turn and curl home an equaliser.

The Pars then took the lead when 17-year-old Callum Smith got the better of Souttar and set up Declan McManus to fire home.

Hearts only looked dangerous when they ripped up the tactical plan and went direct.

Goncalves stabbed home a late equaliser before Stockton blazed over from close range.

Pars’ boss Allan Johnston was delighted with his men.

He said: “When you lose the first goal at Tynecastle, a lot of teams would crumble but we showed quality.”

The new main stand at Tynecastle is currently a building site.

However, there is a structure in place and a plan to move forward.

It’s hard to say that about the Hearts team.