HEARTS have confirmed that they will face Dinamo Bucharest next week as boss Gary Locke revealed he is keen to arrange one more friendly to prepare them for the challenging season ahead.
The Tynecastle side will travel to north-west England for the match against the Romanian outfit – who have been training in Leeds – on Tuesday night.
The game will take place at Leigh Sports Village, a £50million sports, retail and housing development in Greater Manchester, with a 7.30pm kick-off.
The Bucharest game takes Hearts’ pre-season friendly count to five, with matches against Dunfermline and Raith Rovers already arranged and the Gorgie side set to travel to Ballymena in Northern Ireland later in the month to take part in a four-team tournament.
Locke is sure that Bucharest will provide a good test for his side but believes that Hearts need six matches under their belt to be fully prepared for the start of the new campaign which they will begin with a deduction of 15 points.
“It’s a good game for us,” said Locke. “We were supposed to be playing East Fife but they had to pull out and it was a bit of a nightmare, to be honest, because it left us kind of scrimping and scraping around for a game. But Kenny Moyes, who is an agent, has been brilliant. He came up with this fixture and we jumped at the chance. We have got a lot to thank him for because he has really tried to help us out.
“I was struggling for pre-season fixtures so it is so important that we have got this game in place. It will not be a money-spinning game, as such, but it was a fixture that we badly needed. I wanted to get six pre-season games. At the minute we have got five and we are hoping to have another confirmed later today.
“This will be a big test for us because Dinamo Bucharest are a good side and it is a real bonus that the game will go ahead.”
Hearts, who were placed in administration at the end of last month, will travel to England for free after a bus was laid on by local company Charlie Irons, and Locke admitted that the club would not have been able to travel south for the match otherwise.
He added: “The financial situation at the club means that there is no way we would have had the money to go splashing out on a team bus to take us to Manchester.
“Fortunately for us, Charlie has come in and offered to take us there and back for free, which is a fantastic gesture.
“If he hadn’t done that then we couldn’t have played because we don’t have the funding for that kind of thing.”