Florian Kamberi substitution purely tactical, says Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom

Hibs manager Paul Heckingbottom insists the half-time substitution of Florian Kamberi was purely tactical and not a sign of any unhappiness with the Swiss striker’s contribution.

Saturday, 20th July 2019, 5:46 pm
Paul Heckingbottom made a tactical tweak at the half-way stage against Alloa.
Paul Heckingbottom made a tactical tweak at the half-way stage against Alloa.

The Easter Road boss took off both Kamberi and Josh Campbell and introduced Scott Allan and Fraser Murray for the start of the second half following a goalless first half. This allowed the hosts to change from 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3 and they eventually eked out a Betfred Cup win courtesy of goals from summer signings Christian Doidge and Tom James.

Sign up to our Hibs football newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Kamberi incurred the wrath of previous manager Neil Lennon on a couple of occasions for his performances last season, but Heckingbottom insists he had no axe to grind with the hitman’s display despite his early exit from proceedings.

“It was purely tactical,” said Heckingbottom, who joked that he had been anticipating the question about Kamberi being subbed. “Don’t read anything into that other than me making a tactical change in taking him and Josh off.”

Heckingbottom explained that he needed to change the team’s approach after a poor first-half display. “It was tough,” he said. “First half we were sloppy and there were a couple of things I didn’t like. We had to change the shape at half-time because they were sitting in and the shape we were playing played into their hands. We had to get more width into the team in the second half. We had 20-odd shots, 14 on target and only got two goals, so it’s similar (to last week). We got two good goals and that will do the new boys the world of good.”