HIBS MANAGER Paul Heckingbottom insists he is ‘excited’ by the prospect of the major rebuilding job he faces this summer.
The Easter Road side have announced the departures of 17 players since they brought the curtain down on a rollercoaster campaign with Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at home to Aberdeen.
Two of those, Marc McNulty and Stephane Omeonga, are wanted back at the club and both have expressed a desire to return for next season.
However, with the likes of Ryan Gauld, Thomas Agyepong, Darnell Johnson and Adam Bogdan leaving after loan spells – joining Marvin Bartley and Mark Milligan, and short-term signings Gael Bigirimana, Jonathan Spector and Miquel Nelom in exiting the club – Heckingbottom is relishing the chance to put his own stamp on the squad he inherited from Neil Lennon.
He said: “The hard work starts now, but I’m excited about it.
“We have regular chats and meetings about how hard we’re going to have to work in the summer, with lots of targets.
“They’ll change. I’m really confident that, yes, if we get those players I’m happy.
“But I also know that we might not get any of them.
“So, we have to plan for every eventuality, if you like, and keep pushing and pushing, and working hard.”
He added to Hibs TV: “Until that window closes, this is arguably the busiest part of the job.”
Hibs have already snapped up Celtic midfielder Scott Allan on a pre-contract to secure his return to Easter Road and have been linked with defender Adam Jackson, who was released last week by Heckingbottom’s former club, Barnsley.
However, with keepers Bogdan and Ross Laidlaw having left, the capital outfit are light between the sticks.
And also in attack, where the departures of McNulty, Gauld, Agyepong and young striker Lewis Allan leave them short-handed.