Former Newcastle coach Ian Cathro has been sacked after only seven months in his first ever managerial role.
Rafa Benitez wished his departing coach all the best (see below) back in December but now Hearts have sacked him.
This Saturday sees Hearts kick off their league season against Celtic so the timing of the sacking is interesting to say the least.
Official Hearts Statement:
‘Craig Levein, Hearts’ Director of Football, has confirmed that Head Coach Ian Cathro, will leave the Club with immediate effect.
The Board wishes it to be known that this was a very difficult decision, reluctantly made, as every member of the Board recognises that Ian is an extremely talented young coach with a very bright future ahead of him.
“We thank Ian for all of his efforts and wish him well in the future”.
A further statement will be made tomorrow in relation to management plans for this weekend’s Ladbrokes Premiership match against Celtic and longer term.’
Newcastle United Official Statement – 5 December 2016:
‘Newcastle United have this evening confirmed that assistant coach Ian Cathro will be leaving the club to become head coach at Scottish side Hearts.
Cathro arrived at St. James’ Park from Valencia in the summer of 2015, and was part of the coaching teams of both Steve McClaren and Rafa Benitez during his time on Tyneside.
United manager Benitez said:
“I would like to wish Ian the very best success with his first head coach role. When a coach has the opportunity and the desire to progress his career in management, it is always very important to allow them the freedom to move on and develop themselves.
“We all send Ian our good luck for his future and thank him for his good work for Newcastle United. We will not be appointing a replacement to Ian in the immediate future. We will take some time now to decide what is best for us, our team, coaching staff and the club.”
(Worth having a read of this excellent article published earlier tonight about Kris Boyd’s comments on Ian Cathro…)