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Hearts the only priority for Locke

Hearts manager Gary Locke is unconcerned with the fate of Hibernian ahead of another crucial Edinburgh derby.

Hearts delayed their relegation from the Scottish Premiership, and stopped the Hibs fans having a party at Tynecastle, when they won the last meeting between the teams 2-0 on March 30.

With Hearts' fate now sealed, the build-up to Sunday's Easter Road clash sees the Hibs fans in much more reserved mood as their team faces their own relegation battle following five consecutive defeats.

A fourth derby win of the season for Hearts, who were deducted 15 points for going into administration, would leave the Leith club in deep trouble as they bid to avoid a relegation play-off.

But Locke said: "The only thing that concerns me and it has done all season, is Heart of Midlothian, the survival of the club.

"And now we are going down here, and it is a big game, an Edinburgh derby, but with no other thought than trying to get three points for ourselves because it would be great if we can finish within 15 points of the team above us and that has got to be our target.

"Whatever happens anywhere else certainly doesn't concern myself or any of the players here.

"Honestly, it has never even crossed my mind. It's a difficult game against a good Hibs side. I know that of late their form has not been great but in my opinion they have still got a really strong squad with good players and a really good management team."

And Locke rejected suggestions that all the pressure is on Hibs given Hearts are consigned to the Championship.

"I don't think the pressure is off us, because it's an Edinburgh derby, our fans have sold out our end and will be looking for us to win the game," he said.

Meanwhile, Locke is still waiting for talks with prospective chairwoman Ann Budge, who is still working on the legal formalities of her takeover of the club, in lieu of a fan-controlled future.

Locke, who is still to discover whether his contract will be renewed, said: "Ann will come in and make decisions once she takes over the football club. That will hopefully happen really soon and we are all looking forward to it."

A number of players are also approaching the end of their contracts but Locke believes they will wait until issues are clearer off the pitch.

"It's difficult at the moment but Ann is doing her best to get things moving off the pitch, she is working tirelessly behind the scenes," he said.

"The players are fine, they have trained well and are all wanting to get their futures sorted out, no doubt about that. But they have shown their commitment to Heart of Midlothian all season and that has not changed."

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