Hearts defender Kevin McHattie admits he uncomfortable with the prospect of following his manager's lead by cheering on fierce rivals Hibernian on Sunday afternoon.

The Jambos could be crowned Champions before the weekend is out if they defeat Falkirk on Saturday afternoon and Hibs fail to beat Rangers 24 hours later.

However, Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson confessed that he would rather claim the title by defeating Queen of the South in front of their own fans the following week -effectively throwing his weight behind the Hibees in their clash with Rangers at Easter Road, That, evidently, is not a stance which sits naturally with McHattie.

"Cheering on Hibs? I'm not sure about that," he said with a smile. "I'm not sure whether I'll even watch it. I'll maybe have a wee look for it on the telly. Whatever happens, happens. We just want to win against Falkirk on Saturday. It has been a magnificent season but, on paper, it's not over yet. We have to win on Saturday and the gaffer has already highlighted what a huge game that it for us. It's a hard place to go but hopefully we can get the three points."

McHattie opened the scoring in Tuesday evening's pivotal 3-1 win over Raith Rovers, latching onto a James Keating delivery and prodding home from point-blank range as the Rovers defenders claimed for offside. Pictures have since showed that McHattie was onside - however, the Scotland under-21 full-back admits he has no idea whether referee George Salmond was going to award the goal.

He continued: "The referee took a while to give it - but I've done what any player should: put the ball in the back of the net and ask questions later! I've been rewarded for that. I wasn't sure whether it was a goal, I just saw all the boys running towards me to celebrate."

McHattie was making his first appearance for the Jambos since a wild challenge from Rangers' Kenny Miller in November left him with ankle ligament damage. And he paid tribute to the colleagues, friends and family who helped him through four hellish months on the sidelines.

McHattie said: "It's brilliant just to be back playing - and to cap my comeback with a goal and three points is absolutely massive. It's really tough when you have been out for all that time and you have to rely on the boys, friends, family and the girlfriend to pull you through it. Everyone has been brilliant. The physio team have been vital as well. Rob Marshall has done a lot for me over the last couple of months and I can't thank him enough."