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GARY LOCKE has confessed he is on a ‘hiding to nothing’ after being named as manager of League Two basement boys Cowdenbeath.
Following the departure of Liam Fox earlier this week, the former Hearts head coach has been appointed the new Blue Brazil boss on a deal for the rest of the season – a little over a year since leading Kilmarnock in the Premiership.
Locke was sacked by Championship outfit Raith Rovers only a month ago after a run of 14 games without a victory, but has returned to the dugout almost immediately after being charged with trying to keep Cowdenbeath in the SPFL.
But he faces a mountainous task in trying to reverse fortunes at a club that has suffered back-to-back relegations in the last two seasons and currently languishes seven points adrift of Edinburgh City at the bottom of League Two.
The Blue Brazil now face the very real fear of relegation from the SPFL via a play-off with the winners of the Highland League or Lowland League, just two years since playing against the likes of Rangers, Hearts and Hibs in the Championship.
Locke, who is set to name former Hearts assistant Billy Brown as his number two, said: “I’ve known [Cowdenbeath chairman] Donald Findlay for a long, long time and obviously I’ve been out of the game.
“They’re well adrift at the bottom of the league and they’ve had a difficult season.
“But if I can go in and get them back into the reckoning in terms of staying in the league then I’ll be delighted.
“It’s going to be a big ask, there’s no doubt about that.
“I’m kind of on a hiding to nothing, because of the position, but hopefully in the last quarter they can get a wee bit of luck.
“If we can win a couple of games it will put pressure on the teams above and we’ll see where it takes us.”
The former Hearts, Kilmarnock and Bradford City player will watch his new team from the stand today away to Berwick Rangers, with Burton O’Brien having been placed in interim charge of the squad.
And Locke will be met by some familiar faces at Central Park, having previously worked with the likes of Fraser Mullen, Robbie Buchanan, Dale Carrick and Gary Glen at Hearts.
He added: “One of the good things about it was there are quite a lot of players in the squad who I’ve worked with before or seen playing before.”