HEARTS boss Gary Locke today insisted his side must not allow their heads to go down after the disappointment of defeat to Celtic.
The Tynecastle side were on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline, but made Celtic battle all the way for the points on Saturday.
Locke believes his players should take credit for the way that they performed and says they must now focus on picking up points from other teams who are likely to find themselves in the bottom half of the table.
Jason Holt gave Hearts hope of taking something from the match when he cancelled out a controversial penalty opener from Kris Commons, but further goals from Anthony Stokes and Teemu Pukki sealed victory for Celtic.
Locke, whose side travel to Ross County this weekend in the SPFL Premiership, said: “We will have to lift the spirits this week because the players put so much into the game without getting anything back.
“But I said to them after the game that it is important we don’t let our heads go down.
“At the end of the day, I don’t think that the results against Celtic will make that much of a difference over the course of the season.
“It is the games coming up that we have to focus on.
“If we can show the same commitment and effort that we did against Celtic then I am hopeful we can get the results we are looking for.”
Locke started with Callum Paterson up front on his own and admitted that he was pleased with the young striker’s contribution.
He was more than satisfied by the effort of the team as a whole, but is looking for them to bang home a few more goals in the weeks to come. “Callum has been doing great,” he continued. “He is working really hard and giving us everything that he has got. But it’s not just him, that is right through the team.”
Locke was delighted to have both Danny Wilson and Kevin McHattie back in the side after serving a suspension.
“If we have all of our players fit and available then we always have half a chance, no matter who we are playing,” Locke said. “A lot of people would have had us down for a hammering against Celtic but we showed that we are more than capable of competing with the best.”