Football - Locke reveals pressures of top job

Gary Locke has revealed his added responsibilities as Hearts boss have impacted on his family life while he has also had to take a step back from his players.

PA Sport

Locke stepped up from the role of first-team coach when John McGlynn was sacked in February and quickly secured the job on a contract until the end of next season.

"The workload is incredible and you very rarely switch off," said Locke, whose team are looking for their third consecutive victory when they face Dundee at Dens Park on Saturday.

"I have hardly seen my wife and three kids in the past couple of months.

"From being a coach to being in charge is totally different, you do have to distance yourself a bit.

"But I feel I still have a close relationship with the players and I would not want that to change.

"It will change a bit because you are the man with final team selection, after some discussions with my backroom staff.

"It comes down to me so there are maybe one or two boys who are not as happy with me as they would have been in the past, but that is something you have got to handle. But I see this as a fantastic opportunity at an unbelievable club and I am to take it with both hands."

Locke is not surprised that bottom side Dundee have been rejuvenated under new manager John Brown, although it may be too late to save them from relegation, which Hearts could confirm at the weekend.

He said: "They are playing exactly how I would expect from a John Brown team, they are all working very hard and he has done a magnificent job since he went in there and they are fighting for their lives. It will be a very different game from last week [against Kilmarnock], it will be a physical battle and we need to make sure we go up there and match that."

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