HIBERNIAN MANAGER Paul Heckingbottom insists he would welcome an Edinburgh derby ‘every week’ as the pressure builds on him ahead of Sunday’s visit of Hearts.
The Easter Road boss is fighting to hang on to his job after seeing his struggling team open the season with just one win in five league games.
The capital outfit sit ninth in the Premiership table and could finish the weekend rock bottom if they lose to rivals Hearts, and St Mirren and St Johnstone avoid defeat.
There are growing calls amongst supporters for Heckingbottom to be sacked, but the Englishman is adamant he is relishing the must-win visit of Hearts.
Heckingbottom steered Hibs to their first win at Tynecastle in six years back in April and followed that up with a 1-1 draw at home two games later.
He said: “I’d play one every week. I enjoy the games, I enjoy the atmospheres, I think they’re great.
“And, to be honest, I’m pleased it’s the next one.
“We’re going to put it on the players and really question them, and we’re going to learn a lot about them.”
Hibs will have to shore up a leaky defence if they are take the spoils against Hearts.
They have conceded a disastrous 13 goals in five league games – including six against Rangers – and have scored just a dismal four times.
Centre-half Ryan Porteous was at fault for Kilmarnock’s opener in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat as he made his first top-team appearance for Hibs since January because of a knee injury.
But Heckingbottom insists there was plenty to be pleased about in the 20-year-old’s display.
He added to Hibs TV: “I’m happy where he is in his rehabilitation and happy where he is performance-wise.
“He did some really good things [on Saturday] and I’ve been wanting his personality on the pitch.
“Ryan questions himself and he’ll question whether he could have done better with the first goal.
“But there were good parts of his game as well and we’re really pleased to have him back.”