GARY LOCKE has been given the go-ahead to lead Hearts out at Hampden in the League Cup final against St Mirren on Sunday.
The Tynecastle club’s hierarchy have been impressed by the way Locke has gone about his business in the three games he has had in interim charge since the departure of John McGlynn two weeks ago. The 37-year-old, pictured right, now has the chance to bring the League Cup trophy back to Gorgie for the first time in 50 years with a victory over Danny Lennon’s side. Former Dundee United manager Peter Houston, however, remains the clear front-runner to be given the job on a permanent basis.
Any announcement on the position will now not be made until after the Hampden showpiece, removing any chance of distractions at the club in the build-up to the clash with the Paisley side.
Meanwhile, as reported in yesterday’s Evening News, Fraser Mullen will miss the cup final after being ruled out for the season. The 19-year-old right-back was substituted before half-time in the Edinburgh derby and scans have revealed that the defender has fractured his ankle. The youngster had looked a likely starter at Hampden,
having featured regularly for the first team since the turn of the year and he admitted the news had left him devastated.
He wrote on Twitter: “Had scan today and have fractured my ankle. Op this week hopefully then all about getting back fitter and stronger for next season. Gutted an understatement and injury couldn’t have come at worse time.”
Darren Barr and Brad McKay are now the two leading contenders to fill the right-back berth on Sunday. Hearts’ injury woes are mounting ahead of the final, with Marius Zaliukas, Danny Grainger, Callum Paterson and Scott Robinson already out for the campaign, Jamie Hamill still absent and Dylan McGowan a doubt for Sunday.