Ian Cathro

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Ian Cathro
Ian Cathro.jpg
Cathro with Newcastle United in 2015
Personal information
Date of birth (1986-07-11) 11 July 1986 (age 33)[1]
Place of birth Dundee, Scotland
Club information
Current team
Wolverhampton Wanderers (first-team coach)
Youth career
Forfar Athletic
Brechin City
Teams managed
Years Team
2008–2012 Dundee United (youth coach)
2012–2014 Rio Ave (assistant)
2014–2015 Valencia (assistant)
2015–2016 Newcastle United (assistant)
2016–2017 Heart of Midlothian
2018– Wolverhampton Wanderers (first-team coach)

Ian Cathro (born 11 July 1986) is a Scottish football coach, who is currently a first-team coach at Wolverhampton Wanderers. He was previously an assistant coach at Rio Ave, Valencia and Newcastle United, and was briefly the head coach at Scottish Premiership club Hearts.

Playing career[edit]

Cathro played youth football for Forfar Athletic and Brechin City.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Youth coach[edit]

After working as a local youth coach in Dundee, Cathro became the head of Dundee United's youth academy at the age of 22.[3] During his time with Dundee United, he also worked for the Scottish Football Association's local youth programme.[3] He helped bring through a number of notable young talents, working with players such as Ryan Gauld and John Souttar from a young age,[4] Gauld has cited Cathro as one of the biggest influences on his career.[5][6]

Assistant manager[edit]

In 2012, he became the assistant manager of Portuguese club Rio Ave.[3] In 2014, he followed Nuno, his manager at Rio Ave, to Spanish club Valencia, where he also became assistant manager.[1][7] The two had first met at an SFA coaching course in Scotland in 2009.[1][7] He resigned his Valencia post on 11 June 2015.[8]

A fortnight later, he agreed to join Premier League side Newcastle United as assistant to Steve McClaren, the recently appointed manager.[9] When McClaren was sacked by Newcastle United in March 2016 and replaced by Rafa Benítez,[10] Cathro was thought highly enough of to be retained as assistant manager.[10]

Heart of Midlothian[edit]

Cathro was appointed head coach of Scottish Premiership club Heart of Midlothian on 5 December 2016.[11] The appointment caused some debate within Scottish football. Kilmarnock player Kris Boyd questioned whether such a young manager, with limited playing experience, could command the respect of the squad.[12] Hearts performed poorly in the second half of the 2016–17 season, winning 5 of 22 league games after Cathro was appointed.[13] They fell to fifth place in the league and were knocked out of the 2016–17 Scottish Cup by their Edinburgh derby rivals Hibernian.[13] After Hearts failed to qualify from the 2017–18 Scottish League Cup group stage,[14] Cathro was sacked.[13][15] Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said that there appeared to be a "confused" approach at Hearts, with a mismatch between the style of play Cathro wanted to implement and the type of players signed by the club.[16][17] After Cathro left, Hearts interim manager Jon Daly and player Cole Stockton claimed that the physical training under Cathro had lacked intensity.[18]


After almost a year out of football, Cathro was appointed first-team coach at Wolverhampton Wanderers in June 2018.[19] He linked up again with Nuno, who Cathro worked with in Portugal and Spain.[19]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of match played 29 July 2017
Team From To Record Ref
P W D L Win %
Heart of Midlothian 5 December 2016 1 August 2017 30 8 7 15 026.67 [20][21]
Total 30 8 7 15 026.67


  1. ^ a b c Alan Campbell (5 July 2014). "First the apprentice, now the master graduates". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  2. ^ Richard Winton (3 October 2014). "From Dundee United to Valencia: The rapid rise of Ian Cathro". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Moira Gordon (14 October 2012). "Interview: Coach Ian Cathro on why he left Scotland for Portugal". The Scotsman. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Hearts line up Newcastle United's Ian Cathro to replace Robbie Neilson". The Sun. 29 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
  5. ^ Eric Nicholson (8 January 2015). "The rise and rise of Ian Cathro". The Courier. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ Eric Nicholson (4 July 2014). "Ryan Gauld's Sporting Lisbon move opens doors for best mate John Souttar". The Courier. Archived from the original on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ a b Gavin Berry (6 September 2014). "Scotsman Cathro not content as assistant at Valencia – he wants to make mark in hot seat". Daily Record. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Valencia: Assistant manager Ian Cathro exits La Liga club". BBC Sport. 11 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Newcastle: Ian Cathro to be Steve McClaren's assistant manager". BBC Sport. 25 June 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Rafa Benitez explains why he kept Ian Cathro at Newcastle United". Chronicle Live. 12 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Newcastle: Cathro joins Hearts as head coach". Newcastle United FC. 5 December 2016.
  12. ^ Boyd, Kris (5 December 2016). "Cathro is a huge gamble for Hearts". The Scottish Sun. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  13. ^ a b c "Hearts: Ian Cathro sacked as head coach after seven months in charge". BBC Sport. BBC. 1 August 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  14. ^ "Hearts: Ian Cathro appointment was mistake - Gary Mackay". BBC Sport. BBC. 31 July 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Club Statement - Ian Cathro". Heart of Midlothian FC. 1 August 2017. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Celtic's Brendan Rodgers has empathy for Ian Cathro over Hearts sacking". BBC Sport. BBC. 4 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  17. ^ McLaughlin, Chris (7 August 2017). "Chris McLaughlin's words of the weekend: Jon Daly slams Brendan Rodgers". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Hearts: Cole Stockton questions methods of former head coach Ian Cathro". BBC Sport. BBC. 25 August 2017. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  19. ^ a b "Ian Cathro: Ex-Hearts boss teams up with Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo". BBC Sport. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  20. ^ "Ian Cathro: Hearts announce new head coach". BBC Sport. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  21. ^ "Managers: Ian Cathro". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 16 March 2017.