Updated Thursday, 17th May 2012
Gary Locke is not relaxing about the cup final. he knows his side still have to work hard to lift the prize
Hearts coach Gary Locke has well aware that Saturday's Scottish Cup final against Hibs at Hampden will be the biggest Edinburgh derby of all time. It is the first time the two capital clubs have played each other in the season ending Scottish Cup final since 1896, and Locke, along with every football fan in the east of Scotland, is anticipating a day to remember. He said: "I have been involved in some massive games as a player but certainly this is the biggest as a player or a coach. It has never happened in my lifetime and possibly may never happen again in my lifetime, that shows you the magnitude of the game. After we managed to beat Celtic in the semi-final everyone knew the final would be against Hibs and the whole city is buzzing about it. It is two massive clubs with huge fan bases all going through to Hampden to have a great day and hopefully it is us who are celebrating at the end."
(c) Ger Harley | SportPix
Favourites to lift the cup, Hearts have enjoyed their share of luck on the road to Hampden. It was defender Jamie Hamill's injury-time equaliser from the penalty spot which took the fifth-round replay tie at St Johnstone to gave the Jambos time to win in extra time. It was keeper Jamie MacDonald who saved a penalty from Graham Carey in the quarter-final replay win at St Mirren before striker Craig Beattie scored a last minute penalty to see off former club Celtic in the semi-final at Hampden. However, Locke is keen to quash any notion of Hearts' name already being on the cup for season 2011-12.
He said: "We have had one or two breaks but I think any team that gets to the cup final needs that. We got a last-minute penalty at St Johnstone and Jamie pulled off a great save for the penalty at St Mirren, these are the types of things that need to go for you in cup competitions and fortunately for us that has been a case. Hibs will be tough opponents, well organised but hopefully we can go into the game and play our own style of football and if the players do that then hopefully we have enough to win the trophy."
Locke knows what it is like to win the cup as he was club captain when Hearts won the Scottish Cup in 1998, beating Rangers at Celtic Park, but injury prevented him playing. Now he is preparing to watch from the sidelines again as his boyhood heroes play for the top SFA prize. He said: "As a coach you can obviously only do so much. When you are a player you can do something about it. We will try to get them organised as much as we can this week but come three o'clock, it is not up to us, it is up to the players. We are just hoping that we can get them as focused and prepared and hopefully they can put in a performance for us."