GARY LOCKE reckons that his young guns will find it even more difficult this season – because their opposition will be aware of their capabilities.
Players like Jason Holt, Callum Paterson and Kevin McHattie burst onto the scene at the beginning of the last campaign.
But Hearts manager Locke warned his players that they will have lost the element of surprise over their SPFL rivals this time around and that they will have to improve their game if they want to make the same kind of impact that they did this time last year.
Locke said: “When it’s your first season nobody knows you and they don’t know your strengths or weaknesses. Now other teams know all about them, so it’s important they try to improve their game.
“It’s about working hard on the training ground and you can see the improvement in the likes of Jason Holt and Scott Robinson. We have some great young kids, but they are going to have to step up to the plate this season as we are a young side.”
Having featured throughout last season, Locke admitted that he is expecting more from his pool of players in the 2013/14 campaign and he continued: “These boys are now experienced players, whether they like it or not.
“I know all about them as I watch them every day. There are one or two of them who are giving me a bit of a headache, which I’m delighted about.
“They will all get a chance this season, which is great.”