Mixed views in Hibs support on Paul Heckingbottom’s future in the wake of Edinburgh derby defeat to Hearts

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THE HIBERNIAN support is split on the future of under-fire manager Paul Heckingbottom, according to one fans’ chief.

Colin Grieve, secretary of the Southern branch of the Hibernian Supporters’ Club, reckons some had made up their mind that Heckingbottom should go even before Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to rivals Hearts in the Edinburgh derby.

But, while questioning his signings, team selections and tactics, Grieve claims others are still wary of calling for the Englishman’s head so soon into his tenure.

Heckingbottom has only been in charge at Easter Road since February and has overseen just 25 games, winning 11, drawing six and losing eight.

However, it is his failure to win any league games since the opening day against St Mirren, and Hibs’ plummet to second-bottom in the Premiership that led some to protest outside the ground after Sunday’s loss to Hearts.

And, with Wednesday night’s Betfred Cup quarter-final against Kilmarnock being followed by the visit of Celtic and a trip to Aberdeen, Heckingbottom is desperately in need of a pick-me-up.

Grieve told Capital City Press: “You obviously never want to get beat in a derby but it depends on who you speak to as to what the fans want to happen next.

“You’ll get some who think it’s still too early and we can’t just get rid of the manager now. We’ve got another couple of important games coming up, with the cup quarter-final followed by Celtic and Aberdeen.

“Do you then judge it after that or say ‘enough’s enough?’.

“He’s certainly under a lot of pressure and some of the supporters in the club are calling for him to go now because they don’t see any difference on the pitch with the players he’s brought in.

“To a lot of fans, the players he’s brought in aren’t good enough and aren’t up to the level of some of the players who moved on.

“Hibs seem to have taken a backward step since he’s come in, which is very disappointing.

“It’s the performances more than anything. Every supporter wants their team to win every game, and obviously that’s not going to happen, but it’s the performances on the park that are the worry.”

 
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