Locke hoping to give rivals relegation jitters

Gary Locke is confident Hearts can put a winning run together
Gary Locke is confident Hearts can put a winning run together
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GARY LOCKE is hoping Hearts can at least ensure a few anxious moments for the teams above them in the battle to stay in the Scottish Premiership.

The Tynecastle side, docked 15 points at the start of the campaign, are 18 points adrift at the bottom and staring at relegation to the Championship.

Dundee were in a similar position at this stage last year before collecting 14 points from a possible 21 in March and April to take their unlikely fight for survival into the closing weeks of the season.

Locke is hoping Hearts, who were in their best form of the season prior to losing to Celtic last weekend, can do something similar.

“That’s got to be the target,” said the Hearts manager. “We can only look after ourselves but, if we manage to get a couple of wins, maybe the teams above us might start thinking ‘Hearts are getting a bit closer’.

“There is a big gap at the minute and they might think the pressure is off a little bit, but we can just try our best to get a couple of wins and, if we do that, then we can start putting pressure on others.

“We have eleven games. It is a tall order but, as long as it is mathematically possible, we’ve got to keep trying. And, if we keep playing as we have done in the last couple of months, I’m hopeful that we can have a good end to the season.”