Barr admits it will be hard to lift spirits

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DARREN BARR today spoke of the “awful disappointment” of Hearts’ League Cup final defeat and admitted new manager Gary Locke now faces a difficult task trying to lift the players’ morale.

St Mirren’s 3-2 victory at Hampden Park left Barr and his colleagues visibly shocked ­after they appeared in control of the game during the first half. Locke was appointed Hearts manager permanently on ­Saturday, but his players could not deliver a second successive domestic trophy.

“It’s a horrible feeling. You want to win a cup final and when you don’t there are no words that can console you,” said Barr. “It will be a battle to lift the heads. We need to pick things up because we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We do have some good players, we just need to pick ourselves up and start getting results.

“Lockie came in, did really well, picked the boys up, and it’s just a shame we couldn’t give something back. We’re ­disappointed for him as well.”

Barr scored in Hearts’ 5-1 Scottish Cup final triumph over Hibs last May and conceded he is now at the opposite end of the emotional spectrum after yesterday’s defeat.

“This is why you play football, for the highs and the lows. Days like this you don’t want to come, but it’s part and parcel of it. We just wish we could have done something more.

“I actually couldn’t put my finger on it to be honest. Maybe St Mirren just got the breaks here and there because they weren’t really in it too much in the first half. We were working hard, but St Mirren’s goal near the end of the first half lifted their heads.

“Our start to the second half wasn’t great and we’re all ­accountable on that park. We need to deal with it and move on. When they went ahead in the second half we couldn’t bring it back. I thought we were maybe going to get an equaliser near the end, but it wasn’t to be.

“The feeling is just awful disappointment. You see the crowd getting behind you and to get a great start like that was unbelievable. I thought we were just going to kick on but it didn’t happen. We need to deal with it and move on. We need to try and redeem ourselves and get ourselves out of the mire.”