Hearts: Gary Locke not too downbeat after Inverness loss

Hearts manager Gary Locke says he is not too downbeat after suffering a 2-0 loss to Inverness.

The Midlothian club fell behind to two strikes from in-form striker Billy McKay to remain top of the Premiership.

But Locke insists there were plenty of positives to take out of the game.

"We've had a decent start to the season and we weren't getting too carried away last week with winning so, I'm not too disappointed with today," he told BBC Scotland.

"We started the first half well and I thought we looked quite comfortable in the game. Inverness were really quick on the counter-attack and it was a fantastic finish by Billy McKay.

"We've got to try and look at the positives; we created a couple of good chances early doors. Jamie [Walker] hit the post and, if that goes in, it's maybe a different game.

"It's a difficult place to come. I was pleased with the opening 20-25 minutes, but we've got to do better than we did in the second half."

Hearts were missing their captain Danny Wilson and fellow defender Kevin McHattie for the trip to the Highlands because of suspension, while they also had to field six teenagers in the starting XI.

The squad has been stretched further following Jamie Hamill's sending off for deliberate handball in the penalty box against Terry Butcher's men and Locke admits that injuries and suspensions are taken their toll.

"If we don't have everyone fit and available it's going to be very difficult for us," he added.

"We had a lot of very young players on the pitch but Inverness are a very good, experienced side. There was a big difference in physicality. They were bigger and stronger than us.

"It would be great if we could bring in a couple of new faces, but we're not getting any help from anyone."

On the red card flashed to Hamill by referee John Beaton, Locke remained tight-lipped on the decision.

He said: "I'd rather not speak about it to be honest because you end up getting into trouble for things you say.

"Jamie [Hamill] says it hit him on the head; I'll need to see it again. It's costing us big time as we can't afford any injuries or suspensions. I spoke to the ref after the game he says it was a handball and that's why he sent him off."