Brown would welcome cup run
Billy Brown is looking for Hearts to make an impact in the Scottish League Cup this season but knows they will have to rely on the bulk of the players who are busy battling to stay in the Scottish Premiership.
The Gorgie club started the season with a 15-point deduction and a registration embargo for entering administration.
After an encouraging start to the campaign, the youthful Jambos have gone three games without a win with Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Ross County leaving them on minus eight points at the bottom of the table, nine behind second-bottom St Mirren.
Hearts turn their attention to the Scottish League Cup third-round where they welcome Queen of the South to Tynecastle on Wednesday night.
And while the Jambos assistant is keen to continue in the competition, he revealed the problems in trying to reshuffle or bolster what is already an inexperienced squad.
Brown said: "At the end of the day whatever team we have got, we are Heart of Midlothian and we want to do well in every competition we take part in.
"Obviously the league is the priority but it would be great if we could march on in this tournament.
"After all, this tie is to get to the quarter-final and who knows after that?
"We want to do well in it but we can't make a lot of changes.
"We will try to freshen it up as much as we can but the next group under this group is 16 and 17-year-olds, so it is not as if you can make vast and sweeping changes.
"It was easier before to bring really young lads in because you were bringing them in to play with experienced players.
"But now you are bringing younger lads in to play with guys who are 18 and 19 so it is a wee but more difficult."
Brown is expecting a tough game against Queen of the South, who secured their first league victory since the opening day of the season with a win at Morton at the weekend.
He said: "We played them in a pre-season friendly and they played really well against us, they should have beaten us that day.
"They had a good result at Cappielow on Saturday and it will be a difficult game.
"I'm sure they will come up fancying their chances."
Queen of the South head to Tynecastle with defender Mark Durnan back in their ranks after a two-game ban however Paul Burns remains out with a groin problem.
Stephen McKenna is a doubt with a foot knock for a tie that Palmerston manager Jim McIntrye reckons his side are underdogs in.
McIntyre said: "Hearts are a good side that have a cause and they will be backed by a noisy home support. We are not expected to win so we can play with no pressure on us.
"We are capable of an upset but we have to be at the top of our game and hope Hearts are not on theirs."