Locke will keep Robbo in his Hearts ranks

Gary Locke feels John Robertson's input is invaluable for Hearts
Gary Locke feels John Robertson's input is invaluable for Hearts
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GARY LOCKE revealed today that Hearts legend John Robertson will continue as part of his backroom team at matches whenever possible

The club’s record goalscorer sat in the Easter Road stand during Wednesday night’s League Cup quarter-final win over Hibs, offering Locke an extra pair of eyes which he wants to utilise as often as possible.

Robertson coaches Hearts’ strikers each Thursday on a volunteer basis but was available to attend the midweek cup tie. He took his seat in the main stand and headed down to the technical area to pass on his thoughts to Locke during the match. The manager explained why input from such an influential figure is vital.

“As everybody knows, Robbo comes in once a week to take the strikers. I see him as part of my backroom team so any games he can come to, he’ll be there,” Locke told the Evening News. “He sat up in the stand on Wednesday night because I feel it’s always good to have eyes in the stand as well as on the touchline. You’re that bit higher up in the stand and can maybe see one or two things.

“I’ve loved having Robbo in here. He was available the other night so I was delighted he came along. He came down at one point – it was just a wee thing he saw when Hibs had the ball at the back. “That was the reason I wanted him to sit there. You can see one or two things from the stand that you maybe can’t see in the dugout because you’re at the same eye level as the players down there.

“Robbo’s been great for me personally because he’s offered his services for free. When he takes the strikers on the training pitch, there are little things he tells them and things that maybe our young forwards wouldn’t think about. It can hopefully make them far better players.”

Locke’s backroom team consists of Billy Brown as assistant manager and goalkeeping coach Alan Combe. Player development manager Darren Murray joins Coventry City next week to be replaced by Robbie Neilson. The manager reiterated his hope that Robertson will be offered a full-time coaching role at Hearts if the club can exit administration.

“I’d love to see a role for John Robertson at Hearts,” continued Locke. “Everybody knows the feelings he has for this club but, for me personally, he’s just fantastic on the training pitch and he’s got a lot to offer.

“That’s not a decision for me to make at the moment. I’m just looking for the club to move forward in the right direction and get out of administration. Hopefully, a couple of months down the line, there will be a role for Robbo here.”