Hearts/Hibs round-up: Relegation| Mind games

Gary Locke. Picture: SNS
Gary Locke. Picture: SNS
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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.

Hibs could relegate Hearts

Hearts are refusing to contemplate a nightmare scenario which could see them relegated by bitter rivals Hibs.

If things don’t go their way in the coming games, Hearts’ fate could be sealed during the derby on March 30. (Sun)

Locke challenge

Gary Locke has challenged his Hearts players to rectify the mistakes of last weekend by beating Kilmarnock on Saturday.

The visitors had been on a good run of form prior to the 4-1 humbling in Motherwell and their manager was particularly critical of their performance afterwards.

Motherwell mind games

Terry Butcher has already started the mind games, as the Hibs boss is asking the Motherwell players how old they feel.

He says they must feel old playing alongside ex-team-mate Scott Leith’s son Jack, as the Easter Road side face ‘Well this weekend.

Locke sure players will stay

Gary Locke has full belief that the seven first-team players whose contracts expire in the summer will not be tempted elsewhere and shall remain at Hearts.

“Once Ann Budge comes in we’re sure that will happen,” said Locke, who is out of contract in the summer himself. “Both the younger boys and older players have shown their commitment to the cause. They’re happy to be here and enjoying their football.”

In brief:

• New Scotland cap Andy Robertson went into his first international determined not to be overawed by the occasion.

• Scotland forward Ross McCormack knows their 1-0 victory over an under-strength Poland will count for little when they return to Warsaw in competitive action in October.

• Majority shareholder Dermot Desmond claims Celtic are the best-performing club on and off the pitch in Britain and predicts a “visionary” future on the international arena. Moving shortly.

• Ally McCoist insists he will continue to ignore the off-field battle for power at Ibrox as he strives to lead Rangers to glory on it.

• Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes insists the club’s first cup final in 14 years will not distract them from their bid to reach a second in the space of three months.

• Kilmarnock boss Allan Johnston admits his struggling side are under pressure - but insists he has the players to cope with the strains of the relegation fight.

• Arsenal have been left to count the true cost of heading into the defining period of their season without injured England midfielder Jack Wilshere.

• Nicolas Anelka’s ‘quenelle’ gesture did contain “a reference to anti-Semitism” but was viewed as less serious than Luis Suarez’s racist abuse, according to the independent regulatory commission that imposed a five-match ban on the French striker.

• Newcastle boss Alan Pardew has requested a personal hearing after accepting Football Association misconduct charge