Ian Cathro: Working with Rafa Benitez helped me as boss
He was part of the Newcastle backroom staff before moving to Tynecastle.
Hearts manager Ian Cathro says he keeps in contact with former boss Rafa Benitez from his time at Newcastle and says his experience working with the Spaniard has helped him as a manager.
The Jam Tarts face Newcastle in a pre-season friendly on Friday, with Cathro coming up against his former employers.
The 31-year-old spent more than a season as assistant manager at St James' Park, first to Steve McClaren then to Benitez.
He said playing the likes of Newcastle in pre-season is perfect preparation for the season ahead and says it will be a great moment on a personal level to set his side up to face a team managed by Benitez.
Cathro said: "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 said the friendly will give him the chance to congratulate his former players on their promotion to the Premier League.
He added: "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.
"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."