Hearts/Hibs round-up: Hearts injuries/Hibs plan

Gary Locke has admitted he has just 12 outfield professionals to choose from this weekend. Pic: Jane Barlow

Gary Locke has admitted he has just 12 outfield professionals to choose from this weekend. Pic: Jane Barlow

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A full round-up of the Hearts/Hibs news making the headlines this morning, as well as stories from the rest of Scotland and beyond.

Hearts down to the bare bones

Hearts manager Gary Locke has admitted he will need to take a head count to see if the club can field a side against Inverness tomorrow.

Ryan Stevenson was added to the club’s injury list this week with a tear on his hamstring and along with other victims the club have just 12 fit outfield players available.

Locke admitted the injury situation was horrendous.

“IT’s a huge blow, there’s no doubt about it. But it’s an opportunity for another young player.

“At the start of the season we had 16 professionals along with the groundstaff boys. We’re now down to 12 outfield pros and two keepers. It’s certainly testing us but it’s a problem I thought we might always face and now we just have to deal with it.” (Daily Record)

Butcher says Celtic got a taste of their own medicine in Barcelona

Hibs manager Terry Butcher has said the 6-1 defeat suffered by Celtic in their Champions League match against Barcelona was a taste of their own medicine.

The Easter Road gaffer was speaking ahead of Hibs trip to Celtic Park, but while he admitted the Glasgow giants would be hurting he insisted his team would not just be going there to defend.

“For Celtic it was like a welcome to our world. That is what it’s like when we play Celtic sometimes.

“They will be hurting and judging by Neil’s comments, he will be hurting. You would think it would be the done thing for us to park the bus and it would be a big double decker withthe wheels blown off if I could.

“But I never see things like that. We play a certain way, we have a game plan which has been expressed to the players and we are happy with it.” (Daily Record)

In Brief:

• Arsenal: Midfielder Mikel Arteta cannot understand Arsenal’s hectic schedule - but maintains the players will be out to make a “big statement” with victory at Manchester City in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.

• Manchester City midfielder James Milner admits he does not know the secret behind the team’s free-scoring home form - but hopes it continues against Arsenal this weekend.

• The prospect of facing Didier Drogba in the Champions League knockout stages has given reason for Chelsea to assess their strike options ahead of a return to Barclays Premier League action.

• Football Association general secretary Alex Horne insists reversing a drop in participation is a “top priority” after the sport was warned that part of its public funding is at risk.