HEARTS were today counting the cost of Saturday’s draw at McDiarmid Park with key players Ryan Stevenson and Kevin McHattie facing suspension.
The 29-year-old was red carded for a physical altercation with St Johnstone goalkeeper Alan Mannus towards the end of the controversial 3-3 draw in Perth. Mannus was also dismissed as both players grappled with one another in a late melee.
SFA rules state that a player sent off for violent conduct will be banned from his club’s next two matches, irrespective of competition. For Stevenson, that means this Saturday’s trip to Ross County and then the semi-final with Inverness.
McHattie will miss the league encounter with Inverness on Saturday, February 15. His booking for conceding the penalty from which Stevie May scored the first of his hat-trick triggered an automatic one-match suspension.
Meanwhile, Hearts have confirmed that assistant manager Billy Brown is to see out the remainder of his contract following a meeting between players, manager Gary Locke and the club’s administrator, Bryan Jackson of BDO.
Jackson was petitioned to let Brown stay until his contract expires at the end of the month despite announcing last week that he would leave after the St Johnstone match. Brown could still be in the dugout for the aforementioned semi-final, albeit without pay.
“I went up to see the senior players who put forward a case of being 100 per cent behind Billy, as was Gary,” Jackson told