Hearts coach hails derby win

12 August 2013 12:31

Hearts manager Gary Locke hailed his side's 1-0 win over Edinburgh rivals Hibernian at Tynecastle on Sunday as huge for the beleaguered club.

Calum Paterson headed home the only goal of the match in the 71st minute to grab a vital three points for the crisis club, who began the season as favourites for relegation thanks to a 15 points deduction they were handed as punishment for entering administration in the summer.

With the club facing possible liquidation, Hearts manager Gary Locke has been left with a threadbare squad with stars such as Darren Barr, Andy Webster, Mehdi Taouil, Marius Zaliukas and John Sutton all departing Tynecastle.

But the players who remained put in a fighting performance against their city rivals to claim their first derby win since March 2012.

Locke was delighted with the work-rate and application of his young side as they took a small bite into their deficit to sit on minus 12 points, but was realistic about the scale of the task his team faces.

"We've got a long way to go. I wasn't too disappointed last week when we got beat and I'm certainly not going to get too carried away today," the Hearts manager said.

"It's a big, big deficit to eat into. We've narrowed it to 12 points and if we can keep winning the gap will get closer.

"That's all we can do and certainly if I get a performance like that every week we will not be far away.

"There wasn't a failure in the team and that's the kind of performance that's going to be required all season.

"Every game's a cup final and we're going to have to win our individual battles. Some of the young lads have got quality and they certainly showed that today.

"It was a huge win and I'm just delighted for the supporters because they've been through so much especially over the summer.

"I hope they will be pleased with that and I'm sure they will be. I'm just delighted for them as the backing they've given the whole football club has been unbelievable and I think the players gave them a performance today that their support deserves."

In the match at Tynecastle Hearts lost Ryan Stevenson early on as he trudged off after landing awkwardly on his knee to be replaced by Jamie Walker.

The experienced midfielder could be ruled out for a number of months with ligament damage which will stretch an already depleted Hearts squad.

"It's a huge blow for us. We'll have to wait until he has his scan but he's certainly not a player I would like to lose for a long period of time," manager Locke admitted.

"We can't really afford to lose any players for long period, we have hardly got any as it is. But we just have to try and get on with it and hopefully Ryan can make a quick recovery and we can try and get him back in the team."

The derby defeat heaps the pressure on under-fire Hibs boss Pat Fenlon.

Hibs have had a terrible start to the new season having lost all four of their competitive matches, including a record 9-0 aggregate loss to Malmo in their Europa League qualifier.

"I don't think we're a million miles away and have lost both league games 1-0 so I don't think there is a lot wrong to be honest with you. We just need to keep working hard," a frustrated Fenlon said.

"I'm disappointed as we are all working hard to win football matches. str/cw

Source: AFP

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