HEARTS defender Darren Barr says former manager John McGlynn will be due a huge share of the plaudits if the Tynecastle side triumph in the Scottish Communities League Cup final.
The Tynecastle board relieved McGlynn of his duties last month after the team won just eight of his 34 games in charge. But one of his final acts as manager was to guide the side through their January League Cup semi-final with Inverness Caley Thistle at Easter Road.
That penalty shoot-out success has teed up a Hampden decider with St Mirren on Sunday and it looks certain caretaker coach Gary Locke will be the man who leads out the side on Glasgow’s southside.
But, no matter who is in the dugout at the National Stadium, Barr believes homage should be paid to McGlynn if last year’s William Hill Scottish Cup winners bring home their second successive piece of silverware.
He said: “The manager did all he could and we need to take some responsibility for him leaving.
“But, if we do win the cup, it will definitely be down to him in part. He did quite a lot in quite a short space of time. I’d like to think that everyone will still be thinking about him.
“He gave a lot to us and was always great with us, so it will definitely be down to him if we win it.”
The squad have rallied round Locke since he took temporary charge of the crisis-hit Edinburgh outfit.
His three games in command so far have seen Hearts lose to Motherwell, beat St Johnstone and then escape Easter Road with a point after Hibernian’s Leigh Griffiths saw a perfectly good goal ruled out in last Sunday’s Edinburgh derby as the officials failed to spot his spectacular free-kick had crossed the line.
It is not the type of record which has persuaded the club’s directors to put their faith in the former skipper on a full-time basis and talks have already got underway with Peter Houston, the one-time Tynecastle assistant boss, with a view to him taking on the job.
But Barr says the players are happy to continue with Locke for the time being and insists the speculation over a new manager will not distract them ahead of the biggest game of their season. He said: “I can’t say what’s going to happen in the future. But it’s a cup final and, no matter what you do, no matter what happens, you know your own mindset for a cup final.
“The way the boys have responded to Gary has been great. He’s been here with McGlynn before and we know what he’s about.
“He’s done really well after stepping up and pulled the boys through this sticky period.
“Would we be happy for him to lead us into the cup final? Definitely. He’s been at this club for years and knows what it’s all about at Hearts, so he feels it more than anyone.”