Brad McKay ready for Hearts return

Brad McKay.   Picture: Ian Rutherford
Brad McKay. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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BRAD McKAY is pushing for a recall to the centre of Hearts’ defence against Motherwell tomorrow. Manager Gary Locke revealed that the 20-year-old has responded positively after being dropped to the substitutes’ bench three weeks ago and could be reinstated this weekend.

Locke left McKay out of his starting line-up for the first time this season against Dundee United at the end of last month. That followed a difficult night for the young centre-back against Queen of the South in the League Cup three days beforehand.

Praising McKay’s attitude and application in training during the international break, Locke said the player’s response has been exactly what a manager would want.

“He’s responded in the manner I expected him to,” Locke told the Evening News. “With any player who gets left out, you’re looking for a wee reaction from them. Brad’s been different class since he’s been out of the side and he’s certainly pushing for a place in the team.

“He’s got a chance like anyone else. We’ve looked at a lot of things over the last couple of weeks. He is like every other player in the squad. I wasn’t happy with the defending against St Mirren in our last match. You’re never happy losing two goals, but it’s not something I’m going to get overly excited about.

“We’ve defended reasonably well so far this season. We made a couple of errors in that game and were punished for it. That could happen in any game. I’ve been reasonably pleased with the defensive side of things and hopefully we can defend a little bit better tomorrow.”

A strong support is expected to follow Hearts to Fir Park, with Motherwell offering to donate some of their ticket revenue to the fans’ umbrella group Foundation of Hearts. For every away supporter paying to attend tomorrow’s game, Motherwell will give £1 to the Foundation as they continue their attempts to take control at Tynecastle.

Motherwell’s chief executive Leeann Dempster said everyone at Fir Park is still acutely aware of the difficulties of administration after their own financial collapse in 2002.

“We wanted to make this donation because, as a club, we are all to aware of the difficulties during an insolvency event,” said Dempster. “Although it was over ten years ago, we very much appreciated the help of other clubs in our time of need. We are also still very thankful to the job Bryan Jackson did whilst in charge at Fir Park.

“That restructure back in 2002-2004 laid the groundwork for the fan ownership vehicle, the ‘Well Society’, to appear some seven years later. We, as a club, are sympathetic to the aims and objectives of the Foundation of Hearts and we hope this small gesture will help them on their way towards their ultimate goal.”