There are question marks and a debate raging in Scotland about the suitability of Newcastle assistant coach Ian Cathro and whether he will be a success if he gets the manager job at Heart of Midlothian, as expected.
Hearts Director of Football Craig Levein is said to have already made a move for the 30 year-old, who he first employed in 2008 as a youth coach for Dundee United when Craig was manager there.
Ian stayed at his home town club for four years before becoming assistant manager to Portuguese manager Nuno (Nuno Herlander Simoes Espirito Santo) at Rio Ave in Portugal.
Ian Cathro – Newcastle’s assistant coach
After a spell at Valencia with Nuno and now at Newcastle United for 18 months with first Steve McClaren and then Rafa Benitez, Levein wants him to become manager at Hearts – the first time Ian will have ever had a job as a manager.
Ian is the top candidate to replace Robbie Neilson who was appointed MK Dons manager on Friday.
Neilson had Hearts in 2nd place in the SPL last season and they are currently in third place after beating Rangers 2-0 on Wednesday night in Neilson’s last game in charge.
But they could only draw 2-2 at Ross County yesterday and even missed a late penalty.
Hearts Director of Football – Craig Levein
As we found out with Steve McClaren, there’s a big difference between being a good coach on the training field and being a good manager.
You need leadership skills, a strong character and other management skills to become a successful manager.
The debate is raging in Edinburgh about whether Ian has what it takes to be a successful manager at the club.
But he has to get a chance to prove that at some point and yes – obviously there will be some risk for Hearts if Ian is appointed manager.
And it’s looking like he will get the chance with the most recent news being that talks officially started yesterday for the position and Ian is expected to be appointed manager within the next 24 hours.
Neilson made Hearts into a very good team in Scotland since taking the manager job in May two years ago.
So if he gets the appointment then Cathro will be expected to take Hearts forward from there and challenge the perennial powers north of the border – the Glasgow powerhouses Rangers and Celtic.
We obviously hope Ian will become a huge success at Hearts.