GARY LOCKE today told
the Hearts players that
performance levels must
improve for next season and stressed he will demand more from his squad following defeat in the Edinburgh derby.
GARY LOCKE today told the Hearts players that performance levels must improve for next season and stressed he will demand more from his squad following defeat in the Edinburgh derby.
The Tynecastle manager was angered by his team’s display in the 2-1 defeat by Hibs on Sunday and is not willing to tolerate a repeat. Saturday sees the curtain fall on Hearts’ Scottish Premier League campaign as they visit Pittodrie to face Aberdeen, and Locke is warning players to lift their game.
“We do demand more from players here,” he told the Evening News. “I certainly expect more than what we got on Sunday. We have a lot of young lads and must accept the fact that you’re going to get inconsistency in performances. That’s probably been the story of our season. We’ve done very well in some games and not so well in others. We want to get some players in during the summer and put in better performances next season.
“I think, over the piece, we probably got what we deserved against Hibs. We had a wee flurry in the second half but we didn’t put them under enough pressure. We made a couple of changes to put them under more pressure than we did but it was a disappointing day for everyone.
“I told the players in the dressing-room at full-time that this is a feeling they don’t want to experience too many times. You’re only going to win games if you win individual battles and, in the derby, we were second best too often.”
Locke rejected suggestions Hearts had taken their foot off the gas as the season draws to a close. “There’s no way we’re winding down,” he said. “We prepared for the derby exactly as we would every other game. We tried to get the players fired up and it just wasn’t our day. It looked like the game would end in a draw, then we lost a poor second goal in the last minute.”
Meanwhile, Ukio Bankas have lodged an appeal against a bankruptcy order served against them. Hearts owe
the Lithuanian bank
£15 million, with another £10m owed to parent company Ukio Bankas Investment Group. Ukio officials have decided to appeal the
bankruptcy order, which leaves the long-term future of the Edinburgh club unclear until the appeal is heard.