HEARTS assistant manager Billy Brown has agreed a deal to stay on at the administration-hit Tynecastle club until January.
The 62-year-old, who is in his third spell as No 2 in Gorgie, has been aiding manager Gary Locke on a voluntary basis as Hearts battle to avoid relegation.
After a bright start to the campaign, picking up seven points from their first five matches, Brown has agreed to continue working alongside Locke until the new year.
And the former East Fife manager insists the youngsters at Hearts will only improve as the season goes on and they battle back from a 15-point deficit.
Brown said: “I have a lot of enthusiasm for the club and the job and I’m very excited about what’s happening here at the moment.
“We have the whole season to keep chipping away at the teams above us. The young players have done exceptionally well so far and they will only get better – but it is not going to be an easy task.”
Locke also heaped praise on Brown, who coached him at Hearts, Bradford and Kilmarnock. “I have the utmost respect and admiration for Billy and to have him as a shoulder to lean on is a huge help,” he said.
“He knows everything there is to know about the Scottish game and to have someone of his enormous experience here is a boost.”
Meanwhile, Brown and Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes will today find out whether they are to face suspensions following their ugly bust-up during the Dons’ ill-tempered visit to Tynecastle last month.
Both were sent to the stands by referee Alan Muir after an angry confrontation following Jordan McGhee’s late winner.
Brown then continued to remonstrate with his Aberdeen counter-part Tony Docherty before eventually following McInnes down the tunnel.
SFA compliance officer Vincent Lunny subsequently served both men with a notice of complaint following the unsightly clash, with the pair accused of breaching rule 203, relating to “adopting an aggressive attitude to a member of the opposing team staff”.
Brown’s charge additionally includes “leaving the technical area in the absence of special circumstances” during the match, which finished 2-1 to Hearts, on August 24.
The respective cases will be heard by a three-man judicial panel at Hampden today. Hearts have collected evidence which they believe will support their case for the defence, and Brown will appear in person.
McInnes, however, has hinted he is willing to accept whatever punishment is deemed fitting.
Speaking after the incident, he said: “I would expect a call or a letter, and rightly so. I was surprised to see an opposition member of staff in my technical area, regardless of celebrating a goal or not. That was disappointing.
“What is also disappointing is my behaviour. I should not react like that and I apologised for that after the game. Billy apologised too, but we will take whatever the consequences are when it comes.”
The fiery clash also saw Hearts kid Kevin McHattie sent off after hauling down Calvin Zola for a penalty kick and Danny Wilson shown a red card after the full-time whistle for using foul and abusive language.
Meanwhile, Brad McKay admits he had to do a double-take as 1500 Hearts fans sang his name to the sound of the ‘Imperial March’ from Star Wars in Inverness a fortnight ago.
The Scotland under-21 international said: “My first thought was: ‘Surely that’s not my name they’re singing.’ It was a bit of a shock.
“It is a bit strange hearing my name getting sung, if I’m honest. But it’s good fun and there’s a few other decent new songs for the boys that I have heard.
“It came out of nowhere during the match. The Hearts fans have always had good banter, to be fair. We are doing our best and the supporters seem to appreciate that and have given a lot of inexperienced players incredible backing.”