First Team

Locke: We were sensational

4th May 2014

Gary Locke overcome with pride as young Hearts maul Kilmarnock 5-0 after Ryan Stevenson hat-trick.

Gary Locke couldn't fault a single thing in today's anhiliation of Kilmarnock at Tynecastle, with the Jambos running riot in a sensational 5-0 triumph.

Ryan Stevenson's first-half hat-trick was followed by early strikes in the second half from Billy King and Callum Paterson as Hearts notched up their biggest win of the season in style.

After the match, the gaffer paid tribute to his young squad and the magnificent backing they've received from the stands this season.

"Everybody was brilliant today. I'm absolutely delighted," he enthused. "It's fantastic for Ryan Stevenson but it would be wrong to single anyone out because everybody was superb. That performance is something our supporters have deserved this season."

"I've said a lot that we went through a difficult spell and got a bit of stick, but we had to be realistic. These boys are young and they've made mistakes, which we've been punished for, but in the last couple of months their hard work is showing."

"We're far better now without the ball, even better with it and their confidence is flying as a result of that, so we're thrilled."

The club decided to have their traditional end-of-season lap of honour at full time today, instead of the Partick Thistle match on Wednesday evening. The gaffer explained why it had happened today, to some laughter.

"Well, the game will finish late on Wednesday night, and it's a school night, so the kids will have to be in bed early - and that's just the first team squad!" he laughed. "We have a lot of younger fans who might not be able to make it on Wednesday, so we thought it appropriate to show our appreciation today."

"We've had a lot of young supporters who've been wonderful all season too, so that was for them."

Lastly, Gary described his pride as the Jambos notched their 4th win on the trot to move onto 22 points - or 8th place, without the 15 point deduction - and stated his belief that he always knew it would fall into place for the team, albeit too late to save the season.

"We have done well in the last 6 weeks, confidence plays a huge part in things and everyone wants the ball. I've known all along how good these players are, and fortunately they're now starting to click."