A TOXIC mixture of bad results, poor style of play and questionable signings left Hibernian with no option but to sack Paul Heckingbottom, according to one fans’ chief.
Heckingbottom lasted a little short of nine months in the Easter Road job after succeeding Neil Lennon in February and has paid the price for a poor run of form dating back to the end of last season.
The Englishman initially won over the Hibs support with a 10-match unbeaten run.
But, after failing to win a league game in three months with a team he had been allowed to put his own stamp on in the summer, fans lost patience with the former Barnsley and Leeds United boss and have welcomed the decision to dispense with his services.
Colin Grieve, secretary of the Southern branch of the Hibernian Supporters Club, told Capital City Press: “This was coming and a lot of supporters thought it might have come a wee bit earlier.
“Nobody wants to see anybody lose their job but nothing had changed with regards to the style of play, which was dreadful. You were going into some games knowing full well Hibs weren’t going to win.
“To draw 2-2 with Ross County after being up 2-0, I think his time had come. It was really just a case of when, rather than if, it was going to happen.
“I know for a fact there were supporters, season-ticket holders, who said they weren’t going back until he was away, because the style of play meant it wasn’t a Hibs team they were watching.
NO WAY BACK
“Certainly everybody I’ve spoken to within the Hibs Supporters Club has been waiting for this coming. Some people didn’t give him any chance initially and wanted him out earlier but it’s come now when there was no way back for him.
“You question some of the signings from the lower leagues down south, but there’s been a lot come up to Scottish football and done well. I don’t think they’re particularly bad players but it was the style of play that wasn’t getting the best out of them.
“I don’t know where the club go now. You could go with someone who knows Hibs a wee bit but even a legend like Pat Stanton didn’t do well in the job. It’s not an easy one.
“Would Gordon Strachan want to come and finish his career at Hibs or is he happy up at Dundee?
“It needs someone to come in and look at the style of play, which isn’t good on the eye, and get them playing a bit of football.”