SPFL: Hearts boss Gary Locke says Billy Brown's absence will be felt by all at the club

Gary Locke: Billy Brown's absence will be felt

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Hearts manager Gary Locke admits the loss of his assistant Billy Brown will have a major impact on the club's chances of avoiding relegation this season.

Hearts are currently on minus two points, 20 behind second-bottom Ross County, after being docked 15 points for entering administration last summer.

Financial pressures remain at Tynecastle and earlier this week administrator Bryan Jackson revealed Brown's short-term deal would not be renewed when his contract runs out at the end of this week.

Locke voices concerns

Saturday's game at St Johnstone will be his last in the dug-out and Locke insists Brown's absence will be felt throughout the club.

"It's a very difficult situation for us all," he said. "Obviously I'm really disappointed that Billy will be leaving, but the club has made a statement and I have just got to get on with it myself until the end of the season.

"It will certainly disrupt things but I don't really want to talk about it too much because we have a big game tomorrow and I want to concentrate on that, and that's not the message I have put over to the players.

"We have players out of contract who want to get their futures sorted out, similar to myself. But I think the great thing about the players here is they understand the situation the club is in.

"They have all shown their commitment to the cause especially at the start of the season by taking wage cuts to stay here. So they all know the situation and are hoping we can get a favourable outcome over the next few weeks."