Celtic look to be heading towards their fourth successive Scottish Premiership title, but Derek McInnes’ side have kept with them for most of the campaign before falling off the pace in recent weeks to sit seven points behind the Hoops.
Locke will look to help finish off the Dons’ ailing title hopes when the Pittodrie men visit Rugby Park on Sunday before eighth-placed Killie travel to Parkhead next Wednesday night for their final pre-split fixture.
However, he praised Aberdeen for their efforts so far.
“We have two huge games coming up against two of the best teams in the league,” said Locke, looking to get back on track after defeats to chasing Ross County and Motherwell.
“But we are at home on Sunday so I will be certainly looking for us to get a positive result although Aberdeen have been magnificent.
“The management team have done an unbelievable job there.
“The players deserve enormous credit because they have ran Celtic all the way and it is good for Scottish football as well.
“I think it is really healthy in terms of with Rangers not being in the league, there is another club that can challenge Celtic.
“They have a lot of quality, a lot of experienced players and a lot of strength in depth as well.
“So I have nothing but admiration for the job Derek and Tony Docherty have done up there.”
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