Ian Cathro opens up about his relationship with Rafa Benitez ahead of Newcastle's friendly against Hearts

Ian Cathro and Jonjo Shelvey
Ian Cathro and Jonjo Shelvey

Ian Cathro has spoken about his reunion with Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United.

Cathro left a coaching position at the club last season to take charge at Heart of Midlothian.

And the two clubs will meet at Tynecastle tomorrow night for a pre-season friendly.

Cathro told STV: "It's definitely something that sharpens your mind, the little spaces that you can maybe leave some players you play against you cannot leave when the likes of Jonjo (Shelvey) are on the ball.

"It is important that we all know that this game is a real test.

"On a personal level, it will be a nice moment having worked and prepared a team to play against a team of Rafa's.

"I put more value on things like that and conversations from people who come from that level of the game than from other people who don't as you can imagine, so it will be a pleasant moment."

Cathro says he has kept in touch with Benitez since heading north of the border.

"It will be nice to see the players as well and congratulate then on getting the club back to where it needs to be, wish them well but get on with the game and make sure it serves its purpose for us preparing for competition on Tuesday," said the 31-year-old.

"We have stayed in touch and caught up during the summer as well, discussing a number of things.

"He is someone who has a tremendous level of experience and someone who wants to support people, so he is a good man."