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Gary Locke <-auth ROBERT MARTIN auth-> Calum Murray
3 of 016 John Sutton 4L SPL A

It’s seventh heaven or hell, Jambos

Last Updated: 19th April 2013

GARY LOCKE has challenged his Hearts stars to finish this season the best of the rest in the SPL — because their futures could depend on it.

The Jambos boss is well aware his side could make around £500,000 in prize money by finishing in seventh place.

And he confirmed that cash could be vital when it comes to trying to keep some of the club’s out-of-contract stars.

Andy Webster, Marius Zaliukas and Darren Barr’s deals are set to expire at the end of the campaign, while Danny Wilson will also become a free agent when his loan from Liverpool expires.

And Locke says that means there is plenty for his side to play for ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Kilmarnock.

He insisted: “The incentive to finish seventh is massive.

“Financially, everyone knows the situation that the club is still in. We’re not out of the woods by any means.

“So the higher up the league the league we can finish, financially it will help the club.

“That’s not something that’s been stressed on me from anyone here — but I know myself.

“I’ve been involved with Kilmarnock as a player and I know how important it is to finish a place above where you might have been.

“So in terms of pride you want to finish high up the league, but it will also help the club financially.

“It’s important the players give it their all between now and the end of the season.

“We’re still not sure what is happening with certain players but they’re either playing for their futures here or playing for it elsewhere.

“I know the lads really well and whoever plays, I know they will give it everything and hopefully that will be enough to give us some victories.”

Meanwhile, Killie assistant boss Jimmy Nicholl has claimed missing out on the top six felt like relegation.

The Rugby Park side lost 2-1 to Dundee in the final game before the split, allowing Dundee United to nip in for the final spot.

Nicholl said: “Everyone was disappointed not to make it. The players were dead when we came back on the Monday and Tuesday.

“I spoke to a couple of the boys after the Dundee game and it was like we had been relegated.

“I’ve been relegated and that’s what it felt like. I always feel if you get the ball out on the Monday after a bad result then you’ll be alright. But it wasn’t like that. We just need to get our heads down and try to finish as high as we can.

“I told them if they don’t change their attitude and the way they go about their job then they will finish 11th.”


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