GARY LOCKE admits he’s been overwhelmed by the cup final fever which has gripped the Capital over the past month or so.
As a Bonnyrigg boy, the Hearts coach is all too aware of what Saturday’s Scottish Cup final means to both Edinburgh clubs. But he admits he’s been knocked for six by the hullaballoo surrounding the biggest Capital derby ever.
Locke said: “Everybody at both clubs knows what it means to the fans and to the people of Edinburgh. You can’t get away from it. Everywhere you go you bump into people talking about it. One wants you to win and the other wants you to get hammered. It has been a nightmare over the last three or four weeks. I will be glad when it is over because then we can get on with our lives. I’ve booked two holidays — Turkey and Siberia.”
Locke hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes to finals.
He suffered a serious injury as captain early in Hearts’ 5-1 loss to Rangers in the 1996 Scottish Cup showpiece and then missed out as the Tynecastle club won the tournament in 1998 — although, as club captain, he did share trophy-lifting duties with Steve Fulton.
Then in 2007 he was in the Kilmarnock side thrashed 5-1 by Hibs in the League Cup final. Locke said: “It does rankle a bit that I missed out in 1998.
“But I’m now in a fortunate position as a coach and I aim to savour this one as much as I can. I was a bit unfortunate in my finals and I can maybe help some of the boys.
“I’ll say to them you better savour it because it might never happen again. I’m lucky to have been involved in three finals, but that might not happen to a lot of the players here.”