Scottish Premiership - Locke expects County battle

Hearts boss Gary Locke will not read too much into Ross County's poor form ahead of their Scottish Premiership clash at Tynecastle on Saturday.

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Scottish Premiership - Locke expects County battle
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Gary Locke believes his side are just getting into their stride

The struggling Staggies have lost their last three games, sliding down to 10th in the table.

However, Locke is still smarting from their first meeting of the season when two late goals for Derek Adams' side in Dingwall in September gave the home side all three points.

Conversely, the Jambos go into the game boosted by their 3-1 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie in their last outing to take them on to minus four points - having started the season on minus 15 after going into administration.

However, the former Hearts skipper said: "It gives us encouragement when any teams who are down there with us are not winning.

"It is difficult, we were on a (winless) run a bit longer than that. It is not easy when you feel as if you are playing well in games, which I am sure Derek does, without getting the break.

"But they are always a well-organised side. They beat us up there earlier in the season.

"We can't dwell on things like that. But it probably started the run without winning games which we went on.

"It certainly knocked the confidence losing two goals as late as we did.

"But I have been delighted with the response of the players and I was over the moon with their performance the last time out (at Aberdeen).

"It will take something similar this weekend because we know it is going to be a difficult game.

"But if we can't take a lift from taking three points at such a difficult place, we will never take a lift.

"You can see a bit of confidence has returned in the last few weeks and hopefully we can take that into Saturday."

Hearts will have to wait another seven days for a decision on an offer from the preferred bidders, Foundation of Hearts, after major creditors and shareholders Ukio Bankas and UBIG secured an adjournment of a crucial meeting over a company voluntary arrangement until next Friday.

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