Easter Road coach ready to Locke horns with support

Billy BROWN reckons the biggest danger he faces in returning to Tynecastle for the first time as assistant boss of Capital rivals Hibs will come from the father of Hearts coach Gary Locke.

For Danny Locke and Gary’s brother Kevin sit only a few yards from the away dugout in the Gorgie ground and Brown believes he won’t be able to resist a few digs at him now he’s part of the Easter Road set-up.

Viewing events on Sunday from only a few yards away from where he and Jim Jefferies once stood shoulder-to-shoulder will give Brown a totally different perspective on the Edinburgh derby but, as always, it’s a match he’s already relishing.

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It will be Brown’s 25th such clash, 23 of them having come during two spells with the Jambos, but all the good times he enjoyed in maroon will be forgotten as he and Hibs manager Pat Fenlon seek to break Hearts’ strangehold on the fixture, a run of nine matches unbeaten stretching back almost three years.

He’s well aware just how much victory would mean to the green-and-white army which will descend on the west side of the city, not only in terms of bragging rights but in aiding Hibs’ bid to widen the gap between themselves and basement side Dunfermline in the battle to avoid the drop.

Admitting it will be a strange sensation to take up station in the away dugout, Brown confessed he’s not quite sure what sort of reception he’ll get from the home support although, natuarally, he hopes they’ll remember his years at Tynecastle with affection.

He said: “I’ve obviously been back with Kilmarnock over the years but going with Hibs will be a totally different proposition. Maybe I am being naive, but I’d like to think the Hearts supporters still like me.

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“Every day I was at Hearts I gave my best, just as I am doing now with Hibs. Over the years Jim and I had a modicum of success and I just hope I don’t get too much abuse.

“I think the biggest danger I have got is the fact that the dugout is set into the enclosure and it’s only three or four seats away from Gary Locke’s dad so I might be getting a bit of abuse from him.”

“All I will be focused on is Hibs winning.”