HIBERNIAN head coach Paul Heckingbottom watched his side leapfrog Hearts with a 2-1 victory at Tynecastle – and immediately targeted a late charge for Europe.
Daryl Horgan notched a clinical brace for the Hibees to cancel out Peter Haring’s opener and send the Hibees two points clear of the Jambos.
With six wins and two draws from his eight Premiership matches in charge, Heckingbottom is setting lofty goals as his side approach the post-split fixtures full of momentum.
He said: “Is Europe a goal? Yes. But whether we get there or not, we’ll see.
“We still have to play the teams around us and we’ll need results to go our way and continue this type of form to get there – but we’ll try.
“The problem is that we have handicapped ourselves so much so it’s still a long way away.
“When I arrived, I would have snapped your hand off to just say we got top six assured with a game left. It is a credit to the hard work and performances of the players that we are in the position that we are.
“Now we have the teams around us in the next five games – let’s see where we end up.”
As well as usurping the Jambos in the Premiership standings, the victory also represents Hibs’ maiden win at Tynecastle since May 2013. Gaining those accumulative bragging rights in the capital is not lost on the Hibs boss.
He continued: “It [overtaking Hearts] matters to me because it matters to so many people.
“I put myself back to being a fan and no matter who you support, finishing above your rivals is important. Just ask any of those fans who were celebrating at the end of the game ‘do you want to finish above Hearts?’”
And Heckingbottom was effusive in his praise for match-winner Horgan, who has been
The waspish winger’s classy run and curled finish for the second goal, in particular, was the one moment of startling quality in a typically hard-fought derby.
Heckingbottom continued: “Daryl has done well, he works his socks off. He’s someone I knew, I watched him in Ireland – we were looking at him for Barnsley but we couldn’t afford him – so I knew all about him.
“His understanding of his role is good, we speak about that a hell of a lot. He’ll get the plaudits and be written about for his goals but looking back over his performances, regardless, he has been performing really well.”