Locke: Beating Celtic would benefit Hearts on and off pitch

Gary Locke. Picture by JANE BARLOW
Gary Locke. Picture by JANE BARLOW
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GARY LOCKE admitted today that a win over Celtic would give Hearts a huge boost – both on the field and off it.

The Tynecastle side play host to Neil Lennon’s William Hill Scottish Cup holders this weekend in the fourth round.

Victory would not only send the Jambos into the last 16 of the competition but would ensure extra revenue for the administration-hit club.

Hearts are already guaranteed a big crowd at Tynecastle on Sunday and would ensure an even bigger financial windfall if they were to make it past the the Hoops.

While his side are underdogs for the tie and will face a Celtic side smarting from their European exit at the hands of AC Milan, Locke reckons that his team should see this tie as a great opportunity.

The Hearts manager said: “There’s no doubt that we could have had an easier tie, but it is what it is and we’re all looking forward to the game.

“A run in the Scottish Cup would be a huge bonus for everyone involved with the club and, financially, it probably couldn’t have been any better for us.

“It’s a home game which I am sure will be played out in front of a really big crowd and, with the way things have been for the club recently, it is a bit of a money-spinner.

“I am sure that Trevor Birch and Bryan Jackson [of Hearts administrators BDO] would have had a smile on their faces when the draw was made and hopefully it can all help towards the club’s future.”

Meanwhile, Jason Holt has successfully undergone surgery on his broken foot and should be back in action in the new year.