Why ex-Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom believes Daniel Stendel could thrive at Hearts

Paul Heckingbottom has backed Daniel Stendel’s style to suit Scottish football

Tuesday, 3rd December 2019, 11:44 am
Paul Heckingbottom has backed Daniel Stendel to do well. Picture: SNS
Paul Heckingbottom has backed Daniel Stendel to do well. Picture: SNS

Ex-Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom has backed prospective Hearts manager Daniel Stendel’s style of football to succeed in Scotland.

The German boss is set to be announced as Craig Levein’s replacement this week. He is due to watch the team’s midweek fixture with Livingston from the stand before taking charge of his first match on Saturday when the Jam Tarts visit Motherwell.

Stendel has been without a club since his sacking from Barnsley earlier on in the season.

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Stendel is set to be appointed Hearts boss this week. Picture: SNS

And fellow ex-Barnsley boss Heckingbottom reckons his high-intensity style of play is perfect for Scottish football.

He told the Scottish Sun: “The best advice I’d give him is simply: ‘Play your way, stick to your methods’. I actually think his high pressing style game would serve Daniel well in Scotland.

“But you also have to be prepared to change things because some teams will just start hitting it long to counteract what you’re trying to do.

"I think Daniel’s way at Barnsley was all about reacting to losing the ball and pressing. Scottish football provides a proper test for a coach. I feel better for it.

“Daniel’s already proved he can go to a different country and manage when he went to Barnsley.”

‘Happy to help’

Heckingbottom, who was replaced by Jack Ross at Hibs last month, admitted he wishes he was still in charge at Easter Road.

He encountered Stendel at an event recently and was full of praise of Scottish football, his time at Hibs and the Capital.

“I don’t know him, but it was nice to have a chat — and let’s just say he was keen to find out about Scottish football and my own experience in Edinburgh,” he said.

“I was happy to help and I told him how much I enjoyed it. I liked the intensity of the game up there and the feel of the games from the fans.

“The passion for football in Scotland is massive. Sometimes in England you are at matches and there’s a corporate feel to them. But by and large it’s not the case in Scotland. Football properly matters to everyone there.

“Easter Road and Tynecastle are great venues. The derby games are fantastic — Daniel would appreciate them, for sure.”