Scottish Premiership - Locke: Embrace the challenge

Hearts manager Gary Locke expects his players to "embrace" the challenge of taking points from Celtic when the champions visit Tynecastle on Saturday.

PA Sport Report
Scottish Premiership - Locke looks for positive reaction
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Hearts manager Gary Locke (PA Photos)

Neil Lennon's leaders have won on their last four trips to Tynecastle, including a 7-0 mauling dished out in the previous Edinburgh encounter.

Locke, however, feels that his side have a better chance of competing this time around.

"There's no point in looking backwards," he said. "I feel now that we're in a better position and a better frame of mind going into this match than we were the last time.

"I feel we've done well in the league recently. It's a game, for me, that the young players need to go out to embrace and enjoy. It's going to be a great atmosphere."

Hearts have 31 minutes to stop Fraser Forster recording an all-time league clean sheet record on their turf.

While Locke wants to achieve what no side has in 1085 minutes of Scottish Premiership football by scoring against the Englishman, he is not particularly concerned about the historic implications.

"Forster's a class act but my biggest concern isn't stopping the clean sheet record," Locke said. "It's about making sure that we're well organised.

"Hopefully the players that have done well in recent weeks on the creative side can cause them problems."

Saturday will also see Hearts launch a special edition of the match programme celebrating the news of businesswoman Ann Budge agreeing to take charge of the club as they seek to exit administration.

"It's fantastic for the club to get some stability again and I'm more than positive that Ann will bring that," added Locke.

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