Gary Locke wants to solve Hearts’ travel sickness

Gary Locke. Picture: JANE BARLOW
Gary Locke. Picture: JANE BARLOW
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GARY LOCKE today underlined Hearts’ need to sort their away form, with trips to Motherwell and Kilmarnock looming on the horizon. With only two away wins in the last year, one of which came at Rugby Park, the Edinburgh club’s record on the road is extremely poor and Locke is desperate to see improvement.

The manager will not set a minimum points target for these next two fixtures, but said it is imperative to collect points. Hearts are ten points adrift at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership, having started the campaign with a 15-point penalty. “There’s not a minimum target but we certainly have to look to pick up points,” Locke told the Evening News. “That’s been one of the disappointing things. We need to try and pick up points at home especially. On the road, for a number of years now, we seem to have a poor record. It’s certainly something we have to try and put right.

“I don’t know why it is. Obviously, if I could put my finger on it, then I would change it. It’s just one of those things that we don’t have the greatest of records. It’s not just this team, it’s been the Hearts team for the last four or five years.

“The players don’t really speak about it. It’s not something I would dwell on, but we want to try and put it right. The facts are we need to get points on our travels as well as getting points at Tynecastle.”

Locke must wait to see how his Scotland Under-21 players fare when they return from international duty. Jordan McGhee, Jason Holt and Callum Paterson played in the 2-1 win over Slovakia on Thursday and are in Georgia today for another vital European Under-21 Championship qualifier.

All three are due to report back to Riccarton later in the week ahead of Saturday’s visit to Fir Park.