Hearts manager Gary Locke described the lap of honour completed by his side yesterday as a “thank you” for the supporters, who have stuck by the club during a difficult season.
Although already relegated, and despite having another home match to play against Partick Thistle on Wednesday, the players, manager and backroom staff circled the pitch and applauded the supporters after yesterday’s 5-0 victory over Kilmarnock.
The result meant Hearts have now won five of their last six matches, taking 16 from a possible 18 points. Were it not for a 15-point deduction imposed at the start of the season for being in administration, Hearts would in effect be sitting in eighth place.
Their fans are now being rewarded for their patience and support. “We have a lot of young supporters and on Wednesday night they have school and can’t stay up late, so it’s important we showed the appreciation,” explained Locke, when asked why the lap of honour was conducted yesterday rather than at the last home game, as is traditional.
“It was a thank you to our young fans.”
“Listen, let’s not get carried away,” added Locke, who saw striker Ryan Stevenson score a first-half hat-trick to place Kilmarnock in greater relegation peril. “It was a great result and a great performance but it’s one performance.
“We’ve done well in the last month and a half, and you can see confidence plays such a great part of football. We’ve known all along we’ve got good players and when we click we can cause teams problems.”
Locke added: “Ryan Stevenson was fantastic but it would be wrong to single anyone out because we were magnificent as a team, scored some great goals and played some great stuff.
“I’m especially pleased for our supporters because they have backed us all season and that’s the type of performance they deserved.”
BT Sport Q&A: Rangers | Hibs | Neil Lennon
THIS week’s BT Sport video Q&A looks at whether Rangers fans will buy season tickets and if the club’s supporters will force a change of ownership.
The form of Hibs under Terry Butcher is also examined following the Easter Road side’s derby defeat while the future of Neil Lennon is also considered following the announcement that his assistant Johan Mjallby is to depart at the end of the season.
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