Hearts players set for late check
Hearts manager Gary Locke is hoping Sunday's derby win over Hibernian has not taken its toll on his players as he prepares to face Aberdeen at Tynecastle on Wednesday night.
The Jambos delayed their inevitable relegation from the Scottish Premiership with a 2-0 home win over their Edinburgh rivals.
Locke will assess his players before the visit of the Dons to ensure they have recovered mentally and physically from the energy-sapping victory.
Locke once more praised his players for working through a season of uncertainty and no little turmoil where their Scottish Premiership fate was all but decided when they started the campaign with a 15-point deduction for entering administration.
The former Jambos skipper said: "It is probably a silly thing to say but the players have become used to it.
"Most of them have been here a period of time and Hearts are a massive club and there is always speculation so from that point of view the players have handed it magnificently well.
"We could be relegated tomorrow but as I've said from day one of this season, our biggest battle - and it hasn't changed - is for the club to still be alive and kicking.
"We just hope for a favourable outcome next Monday and then we can get back to being the Heart of Midlothian Football Club that everyone knows and love.
"We are up against a team who has had a great season.Derek McInnes and Tony Docherty have really turned the club around.
"They are full of experienced players and have a lot of talented young kids as well so we know how difficult it is going to be but after the result at the weekend, it is a game we can go into with confidence."
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes insists the Scottish Premiership will be worse off without Hearts.
The Dons could relegate the administration-hit Gorgie side with a victory at Tynecastle on Wednesday night.
Gary Locke's men staved off demotion with an incredible Edinburgh derby win over bitter rivals Hibernian on Sunday but face a tougher task as they host the League Cup winners.
Even if they do muster their third win over the Pittodrie men, they would still be left with a massive 16-point gap separating them from second-bottom St Mirren, with just 18 to play for.
With demotion looking inevitable, McInnes lamented the potential loss of one of Scotland's most decorated clubs from the top flight.
He told RedTV: "It would be a shame to lose them from the league. They are a proper club who unfortunately have not been run properly. They will be a miss to the league.
"Gary Locke deserves a lot of credit. He has been a steady influence. He is a good person."