9am Briefing: Legend Mackay hails Hearts' youngsters

HEARTS legend Gary Mackay feels the club's latest batch of young players have been instrumental in turning around their season.

Gordon Smith, 18, netted on his first start as Hearts extended an unbeaten run to five matches when they drew 1-1 at Easter Road on Sunday.

Fellow teenagers Scott Robinson and Craig Thomson have also established themselves along with 20-year-old David Templeton.

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Evening News columnist Mackay believes they have given the team a new lease of life to take them within four points of fourth-placed Dundee United in the SPL.

Mackay, who made the first of his 640 Hearts appearances as a 16-year-old, said: "Craig Thomson, until his injury, had been as consistent as anybody this year.

"The boy Robinson has come in, Gordon Smith came in, Templeton has come in and they have just freshened it up and given a different impetus to the team.

"They are not the finished articles yet but they have given the guys around about them a lift."

D-day for Bolton

BOLTON should have a clearer idea tonight as to whether their preferred managerial choice Owen Coyle will be making the short trip to the Reebok Stadium from Burnley.

The Clarets boss met his chairman Barry Kilby last night to explain his plans after being given permission to talk to their Barclays Premier League rivals.

However, according to a Burnley statement, both parties opted to take 24 hours to think things over.

The statement read: "Senior Burnley officials have, on Monday evening, held detailed talks with first-team manager Owen Coyle over his future at Turf Moor.

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"As a result of these talks over Coyle's future with his current employers, both parties have decided to take a further 24 hours to digest the information shared before making any further announcement.

"There will be no further comment during this time from Burnley or Owen Coyle."

Parks heads to Cardiff

SCOTLAND fly-half Dan Parks is to leave Glasgow Warriors for Cardiff Blues at the end of the season.

The 31-year-old, who has won 47 caps for Scotland, has long been linked with a move to the Welsh capital.

Now it has been confirmed that Parks will leave the club he joined in 2003.