Inverness no pushovers, warns Locke

Gary Locke
Gary Locke
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HEARTS’ first-team coach Gary Locke has warned against complacency this weekend when Inverness visit Tynecastle, insisting the Highland club are in a false position at the bottom of the SPL.

Manager Terry Butcher brings his side to Edinburgh with only one away win to their credit this season – the 6-3 destruction of Kilmarnock at Rugby Park three weeks ago. Last weekend’s home defeat by Celtic set Inverness back but Locke predicted a stern test for Hearts tomorrow.

“I think Inverness are in a false position. They’re a very good side,” he told Hearts TV. “Terry and Mo (Malpas) have got them organised. They’re always very workmanlike and they’ve got one or two players who can cause you problems. We know how difficult it’s going to be on Saturday, and we’ll make sure our players are on their toes.”

The teams drew 1-1 at the Caledonian Stadium in September, when Stephen Elliott scored a late equaliser for Hearts. Since then, goals have been notoriously difficult to come by but Locke emphasised the positives by praising the players for having the second best defensive record in the SPL.

“We’ve been pleased with the defensive side of things, as we have been with the way we’ve played for most of the season. We’d like to create a few more chances of obviously putting them away.”

Inverness will have Greg Tansey available after the midfielder’s red card against Celtic last Saturday was rescinded on appeal by the SFA yesterday.

Referee Stevie O’Reilly issued Tansey a straight red card for violent conduct following his collision with Georgios Samaras but, following a personal appeal by Butcher, the offence has been downgraded to a “careless foul” and no action taken.