Gary Locke wants Robbo on Hearts’ payroll

Hearts' Gary Locke. Picture: Robert Perry
Hearts' Gary Locke. Picture: Robert Perry
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GARY LOCKE hopes to offer John Robertson a part-time coaching role at Hearts if the club can emerge from administration.

The legendary former striker is coaching at Riccarton for free at the moment and Locke would like to use his expertise to help Hearts’ forwards long-term.

Robertson and Locke were team-mates at Tynecastle in the 1990s and have maintained a close relationship ever since. Following the onset of administration in June, Robertson agreed to travel from his home in Inverness to coach the club’s strikers without pay once a week.

That arrangement remains in place, but Locke admitted today he would be keen on a more permanent agreement with Robertson if possible. The 48-year-old is ever-popular with supporters after scoring a record 271 goals during his Hearts career. According to the manager, he is already making a difference on the training field.

“Robbo is in once a week taking the strikers and I’m hoping our forwards can learn a lot from him,” said Locke. “There was no doubting his ability as a goalscorer. He’s been kind enough to come in and work for free along with Billy Brown, but long-term I’d like him to work with the young players and the strikers at the club. For me there is nobody better.

“I’m delighted with what he’s doing at the minute. I realise the situation the club’s in, so it’s not really something I’ve thought about at the moment. However, if we can get back on our feet, I’d like him to work with the strikers at least once a week. If we can get a wee bit more than that, then great. It’s good having Robbo about the place. He’s a Hearts legend and an icon here. All the fans look up to him and, most importantly from my point of view, he’s fantastic on the training pitch.”

Hearts are not in a position to recruit any staff until they can exit administration, which may take months according to administrators BDO. The Edinburgh club are also unable to sign any new players during that period. Once administration ends, Hearts will be subject to signing restrictions imposed by the Scottish Football Association banning them from signing players aged 21 and over until February 1, 2014.