The eighth-placed Gorgie men lead 10th-placed Hibs by one point, although the Leithers have a game in hand over their city rivals going into Sunday's derby at Tynecastle.
The three Clydesdale Bank Premier League games between the clubs so far this season have ended in draws but Pat Fenlon's side knocked Hearts out of the William Hill Scottish Cup on their way to the Hampden final against Celtic which is to be played later this month.
The former Hearts player and coach is well aware that the Jambos fans are desperate to end the season with a derby win but he is looking to climb above Aberdeen, currently three points ahead of Hearts and 'best of the rest' in the bottom half of the table.
Locke said: "Nobody needs to tell me what the fans are thinking because I speak to them every day.
"It would be great for the club to finish above Hibs. But that isn't the target for me. The target is to finish the best of the rest in the bottom six.
"By beating Hibs that will help us along the way but it is going to be a difficult game.
"They have a cup final to look forward to and I know all the players there will be looking to try and impress Pat over the next few games.
"I said to the players when I got the job that we had to try and finish seventh if we could. By winning last weekend against St Mirren we have given ourselves a slight chance of that happening.
"So that's all we're focusing on. We want to be as high up the league table as we can and put behind us what has been a pretty disappointing season."