Scott Brown has always had the 'Bat phone' to Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers.

Rodgers alongside the likes of ex-Parkhead manager Gordon Strachan are just two names on a formidable list of contacts the former Celtic and Scotland captain has amassed from his playing days. Now having stepped back into management at Ayr United alongside trusted lieutenant Steven Whittaker, Brown vowed to hammer all of his football friends over the remaining days of the January transfer window by sending out bat signals as he goes on the prowl for new players.

Brown and Whittaker are delighted to be back in the football management game after penning a two-and-a-half-year deal with Ayr. A 13-month stint down south with League One side Fleetwood Town ended in September after the club announced they were pursuing a different managerial direction.

When asked if he would raid his old club for potential incomings as well as have discussions with Rodgers and Strachan, the 38-year-old said: "We'll be battering our contacts now. We want to bring a couple of players in. The chairman is on board. The lads are on board.

"We lost a couple of loanees so we need to strengthen. It's a fresh start for everybody. Maybe some of the ones who haven't had so much game, or the younger ones, can start to show us what they're worth. Everyone wants to try to get the best out of their contacts.

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"I'll be definitely going to them now (Rodgers and Strachan). They are fantastic people in the game and they've done great things. I have spoken to them all the way through. It's always good to know that if we are struggling at any point in time Gordon is a phone call away and Brendan is a phone call away. They are always helpful. Always."

Brown also revealed that despite late interest from English Football League Two outfit Forest Green Rovers, both he and Whittaker had their hearts set on coming to Somerset Park. The duo were sold on the vision for the ambitious Scottish Championship side by chairman David Smith and managing director Graeme Mathie who more than lived up to the club's nickname by being 'Honest Men' when it came to boardroom discussions.

He said: "This was our decision and we needed to make sure it would be right for us. We didn't want the outside world to say 'You could maybe do this or maybe do that'. It was important to us that our heads were right. It was the drive of the chairman and board which attracted us. You get a vibe when you go into these meetings.

"For me, it was important that they wanted to push the club forward off the field as well as on the field. The revenue that the new stand will bring in will push the club forward. We want this club to be an established Championship club and then push on. You always aim as high as you possibly can. At this moment in time, we are realists and we understand exactly where we are.

"We are five points clear of relegation - but we're only four points off a play-off place. It's quite tight but if you go on a run of four or five games you're in a good position. We have had opportunities to go to other clubs. We have taken some time off to relax and get away from football. You start to get itchy feet after a while. Sometimes you do think 'Should I have dived into this club or that club?'

"At this moment in time, Ayr is the perfect club for me and Steven. There are a lot of managers out of jobs. Some managers have done well but struggle to get back in. You start to think 'Will I get back in?' We had opportunities after Fleetwood to go straight back into another club. It wasn't right for us. We wanted to take some time away to reflect on the time we had at Fleetwood. We've come in here and we know we need to push Ayr as high up that league as we possibly can.

"We decided to come to Ayr over everything. For us, it was a good opportunity at the right time. We didn't want to throw ourselves into something we didn't know too much about. There was interest from other clubs down the road but Forest Green Rovers had a manager for six games. For us, we needed to have an understanding from the chairman that this wasn't just short-term. This is a long-term journey. It wasn't about one team or the other. It was just about this chairman, the good vibe and they are good guys and they are honest.

"Honesty is the biggest thing in football."

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Celtic Way:

Both he and Whittaker were in the Somerset Park stands on Tuesday night to see their new charges defeat Arbroath 2-0 to move Ayr into seventh spot in the Championship table four points from a play-off spot but more importantly five clear of the relegation zone.

Brown though is keen to get on with the job in hand as he takes on Queen's Park at Hampden Park this weekend before the Ayrshire men entertain joint league leaders Dundee United. Throw in a mouth-watering Scottish Cup tie to come against Rangers on February 10, where Brown will return to Ibrox for the first time as a boss. It all adds up to a hectic start.

However, Brown is adamant that he and Whittaker will not simply be trading on their names in their new mode of employment as the 55-times capped Scotland midfielder has lofty ambitions for Ayr. Brown said: "We will focus on the game at the weekend. Queen's Park is huge for us. The main thing is the lads buy into it.

"The minimum they expect is for us to be in before them, be punctual, work hard. It's always going to be hard. Your phone is on 24/7. As soon as you go out of the game, there are a lot of people who don't contact you. As soon as you're back in, there are agents with this player or that player for you. We enjoyed our time at Fleetwood and we'll enjoy our time at Ayr. It worked out well at Fleetwood. We finished 13th in the league and got to the FA Cup fifth round. Then this season we only had six games but that's football.

"Both of our playing careers are done and dusted. We are not here to talk about when I played. If our influence can help one or two players, it will be good. We're not here to say 'We used to be top players'. Our careers were decent enough but it's now about making players as good as they can be. We have a couple of days to try to implement as much information as we can. There are a lot of players who finished second in the league last season. It is a big jump from the Championship to the Premiership.

"I just looked at the next two games and thought it would be huge for us. Our main focus is always going to be on the league. We go to Queen's and it's Dundee United at home and they are two hard games. We need to put small details in but keep the positivity going. The lads are in a good place. They have managed to keep three clean sheets. We need to make sure we build on that.

"We just want to put our game plan and structure onto it. We have signed a two-and-a-half-year deal and I hope to see it out. After that, it's not up to me!"

Although there is no escaping the fact that the man the Rangers supporters loved to hate in a Celtic jersey is heading back to the Lion's den in 16 days. Brown said: "If we get through those games, then the Scottish Cup draw will take care of itself. The cup draw is huge. Budgets are set so that cash flow is exceptional for the club.

"Whether it was Hearts, Hibs, Rangers or Celtic, it's a good start for us because you know you have that backing. We'll talk about that one when we get to it. These are big games. It's what the club wants. At the time of the draw, I didn't know I was coming here!"

Brown will be hoping that he's not sending out any bat signals of distress on his return to Govan. That occasion is certain to be a 'Homecoming' of sorts.