'I would have knocked his teeth out' - Paul Heckingbottom's best and worst quotes as Hibs manager

On the back of Paul Heckingbottom's departure from Hibs, we look back at some of his most memorable and infamous quotes from his time in charge at Easter Road.

Tuesday, 5th November 2019, 11:37 am

On being appointed new Hibs boss on 13 February:

"There is so much potential here and the club has everything going for it; I will give everything I have to be a success."

Winning at Tynecastle in April:

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Paul Heckingbottom has departed as Hibs boss. Picture: SNS
Paul Heckingbottom has departed as Hibs boss. Picture: SNS

"We had to make a tactical change and then we were much better. Regardless, we knew they'd be a threat from set-plays, we knew when we went in front they'd just throw bodies in the box.

"In terms of height, they were far superior, so we had to win the game a different way."

On his ambition to qualify for Europe in April:

"There are lots of ways to impress a player. One is by the type of football you play and the role they could play and saying this is how we are going to make you better.

Heckingbottom oversaw just one league win this campaign. Picture: SNS

"Anyone watching us now will see us playing Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and another Edinburgh derby. Those are the games you want to be involved in. So you would be foolish not to use these opportunities. We want to get in Europe for us but there is a knock on effect."

What he had to say after confrontation with official Gavin Duncan in draw with Hearts in April:

“It didn't help getting swore at by the fourth official. I would have knocked his teeth out if it had been anywhere else."

His view on one-time team-mate Alex Bruce after he won a penalty in a 1-0 defeat in May:

Results were hard to come by for the Englishman after a positive start. Picture: SNS

"****ing diver."

On Alex Bruce days after the diver comment:

“We go back as we played with each other. We know each other well. I know him and he knows me. You can interpret it how you want. I don’t think he has dived, you can see that. You can see it’s soft. Alex felt contact, went down and the ref has seen it. The ref might have been watching from something before that incident, I don’t know."

On signing of Christian Doidge in the summer:

One of his more memorable moments this campaign saw Heckingbottom kick a water bottle which hit a linesman. Picture: SNS

"We think Christian's signing is a real statement of intent and I'm delighted we were able to fend off other interested clubs to secure his signature."

His view on Funso Ojo's on-off move before the player joined Aberdeen during the transfer window:

“We’re not going to do it, it’s not for us. We don’t want to do it. We made a really good offer but it’s not just about that. We have to sign players who want to come here for the right reasons. We want the dressing room to be unbelievable and make sure we’ve got players coming in want to be here. We have to share the same values."

Reaction to signing Josh Vela:

"He knew how keen we were. It was a case of, 'I'm not hanging about, I want to sign for Hibs'. Perfect, that's the type of player we want. We were delighted and it happened really quick."

On fans' reaction to Scott Allan being subbed in draw with St Johnstone:

Heckingbottom was understood to be well liked by the players. Picture: SNS

"We were trying to get the boys to relax but the whole stadium was anxious and that spread to the players. There was a real anxiousness that spread from the stand to the players. But when there is one goal in it you have to defend.

"I didn't know there was a law against taking him (Allan) off."

On fans' reaction to his comments regarding the fans' reaction to Scott Allan being subbed in draw with St Johnstone:

"It was a bit tongue-in-cheek - I certainly didn't mean to be flippant by it - but what I said is true, Scott will be brought off again.

"I understand that [the fans] didn't like the substitution. Scott is one of our most talented players. But the reaction to me taking him off, it looks like it transfers on to the players when you watch the game back."

The reaction to losing to Hearts at Easter Road in September:

“This is a sickener and it is a sickener in its own right."

His response to kicking a water bottle in a 1-1 draw with Celtic at the end of September:

“It’s the ones that are absolutely black and white that seem to have been going against us all season – blatant offsides, blatant slaps in the face.

“Time after time, there are no debating those things. They have happened and should be dealt with. You can feel aggrieved.

“I’m not moaning about them, it’s not excuses and we just need to be even better – and hope we get four goals given to us and one of our players gets away with a right hook!"

His view of his players' first-half performance in 2-2 draw with Livingston at the end of October:

"I'm frustrated because why should it take a tactical change or a bollocking to get people up and running and get them playing the way they should? It should not take that, but that's where we are.

"People will say we should have more points but you get what you deserve. I'll watch the game back and I know in the first half I'll see some positives but I'll also see players not 100% committed, and the second half proves that."

On Livingston manager Gary Holt's assertion that Scott Allan dived to win penalty in the draw:

"[Gary Holt] has got better eyes than me. He has some camera that we've never seen.

"If that's how we want to debrief games - going over 'shoulda, woulda, coulda' - we can do, but I'm more bothered about what we can do to change. It's not my job to look after referees.

"I could be looking at Marv's tackle first half, Marv's elbow first half. It's not going to get me the three points we deserve.

On being under pressure at Hibs:

“As a manager, a lot of things are out of my control. But I’m in control of how hard I work, how I behave, how honest I am with people. That’s probably what you always go back to. Or I do. There are certain things I wouldn’t bend, in those principles, just to stay in a job. They are more important to me. But one thing you can make sure you do is fight and fight and fight. Because the biggest thing you can do is be the role model – and behave in a way you’d want everyone else to follow.”

His view on his future after the 5-2 Betfred Cup defeat to Celtic:

"I understand the anger, we seen it. They are also seeing a team which is fully committed. it was the quality which let us down first half, made the game really difficult for us."

On facing St Johnstone this weekend:

"I've seen more than enough to know we can get out of it and change things. No need to feel sorry for ourselves because we have got a big game Saturday."