Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson has confessed that setting a new points record is helping to keep his players motivated as they enter a key week that could see them finally crowned champions.

If results go for the high-flying Tynecastle outfit the Championship title could be secured without them kicking a ball when Hibernian face Rangers on Sunday. Victories against Raith Rovers tonight and Falkirk on Saturday would mean a draw at Easter Road 24 hours later would ensure the Jambos could not be caught by either Rangers or city rivals Hibs.

Neilson has been careful to repeat the mantra that there will be no celebrations down Gorgie way until the arithmetic lands them their silverware and the automatic promotion back to the Premiership that has been heading their way for weeks. However, the 34-year-old has admitted to a sense of relief at now being within touching distance as they eye a finishing total of 99 points that would eclipse the 89 racked up by Hibs in the old First Division in 1999.

"It could be a good week for us. It's a good chance to hopefully get a result against Raith that would lead us into Saturday's game against Falkirk, which will be a really big game for us,'" said Neilson. We still go from game to game and try to win, and even if we do eventually get over the line it's important we continue working on trying to win games. There are targets we can try and get to that we've spoken to the players about.

"But also there's the motivation of our own pride. We want to win games, we don't want to be going places and losing games. We can get to 99 points, so that's what we're going to aim for. If we could get to that it would be great. I don't think we'll get it but we've got to try and target that.

"We've lost a few games, so it's important we keep motivating ourselves. The big thing for me is the pride of the players. We should be out winning games, we shouldn't be letting teams score against us. "We should be winning every game we play and we want to do that."

Hearts are also on track to become the first team since Airdrie in 1974 to score over 100 goals in the Scottish second-tier if they continue their current goals-per-game ratio of 2.66. Neilson added: "It's not unobtainable, but it's important we win games, whether it's 1-0 or 2-0 or 3-0."

Winger Jamie Walker, meanwhile, has admitted the squad have found it difficult not allowing their focus to drift to further down the line to when they will finally land the title. After the 10-0 thrashing of Cowdenbeath and Saturday's 4-0 win over Dumbarton, he said: "Obviously it's been hard but, because it's not so tight at the top and we're still so far ahead, the boys have still been relaxed and you've seen that in the last two games with the number of goals we've scored."

Rovers manager Grant Murray has confessed his side's promotion play-off hopes are hanging by a thread but he insists they are capable of the win that could spark them back to life tonight. Following Saturday's 2-1 defeat to fourth-placed Queen of the South, the Kirkcaldy men are now 11 points behind the Doonhamers and 10 adrift of Falkirk, who currently sit fifth. With just nine matches remaining, the Stark's Park outfit know they desperately need points if they are to piece together an end-of-season push for one of the three play-off places available.

Murray is hopeful his players can rise to the occasion and do just that as they seek to make the most of their game in hand on the teams above them in the table. He said: "It's a match that we've got to look forward to. We're at home, there's going to be a big crowd there and if we could go and take three points from this game then it could totally change things around. We've got Queen of the South next Tuesday and another important game on Saturday against Alloa.

"But all the focus is on this game. We know it's a big ask but we've got to go in there giving everything and with belief that we can put on a performance that could possibly win us the game. It's an atmosphere that the players should enjoy. We said that at the start of the season when we knew that Rangers, Hearts and Hibs were going to be in the league. We knew there were going to be huge games in front of big, sell-out crowds at home and away. This is another one. I think Saturday's defeat makes a play-off place very difficult at this moment in time, but we all know how football works."