HEARTS caretaker manager Gary Locke dedicated his first win in charge of the team to John McGlynn, the man who was removed from the job last week.
Locke, who has taken charge along with player development manager Darren Murray, insisted the players had retained their focus despite a story during the day which claimed that Hearts staff had been told the club was in danger of going into administration.
“I’m just absolutely delighted to get a win, and I dedicate that to John McGlynn and the supporters who came tonight,” Locke said after goals from Ryan Stevenson and John Sutton had given his team their first victory after five straight losses.
“I’ve heard the rumours,” he went on, referring to the story, which Hearts dismissed as wholly untrue. “I just think that’s a bit of scaremongering. I’m just here to concentrate on the football and I’m just delighted that we got the three points.”
Asked if he and his staff had had to reassure the squad in any way, Locke continued: “Not at all. The players are not fussed about that. Over the years the players are used to rumours and stuff that’s in the media. Our sole focus tonight was to get a victory.
“But it’s only one game, and we’ve got to take that into the next few league games. Hopefully if we play with the same effort and commitment we’ll pick up points.”
“I felt second half on Saturday the team did really well, and tonight we showed everything that’s required to get ourselves out of the position that we’re in. There was great endeavour and workrate, we were first to every ball, and I felt we were a wee bit unlucky not to score one or two more goals.
“I’m just delighted to get a victory after such a bad run.”
Locke said last week that he felt he did not need to make a formal application to become manager in the longer term, as the club knew what he could do. He insisted again last night that he was not thinking further ahead than the next match, which happens to be the Edinburgh derby at Easter Road.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen between now and the derby,” he said. “I’m not overly concerned about.”
St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas labelled his team’s performance as one of the worst since he took over as manager. “It was a very disappointing night – we let ourselves down. We were outmuscled and outfought. We were second best all over the park. The two up front were excellent tonight for Hearts and we couldn’t cope.”