Gael Bigirimana reveals how he plans to impress Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom

Hibs midfielder Gael Bigirmana has revealed how he hopes to force his way into boss Paul Heckingbottom’s plans for the final five games of the season, admitting he’s not enjoyed as much football as he’d have wanted following his surprise transfer deadline-day signing from Motherwell.

Friday, 12th April 2019, 6:30 am
Gael Bigirimana has not played for Hibs since February 2. Pic: SNS
Gael Bigirimana has not played for Hibs since February 2. Pic: SNS

The 25-year-old made his Easter Road debut just two days later, a second-half substitute appearance against Aberdeen on February 2, but has not featured since and not at all under Heckingbottom.

He did, however, play the full 90 minutes of the SPFL Reserve League clash with Rangers earlier this week and having impressed during that match, he now has his fingers crossed Heckingbottom will take notice.

Revealing the former Barnsley and Leeds United manager has been up front with him as to where he stands, Bigirimana said: “As a player it is up to me to show my ability and play with a positive attitude.

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“The rest is for the manager to make his judgment call. He has watched all the games I have played in and hopefully he will feel that I have done well against Rangers.

“He’s always been honest with me. Sometimes as player you want to hear the honesty, but sometimes the truth is too hard to swallow. At the end of the day you appreciate that more. He has told me where I am in order for the team.

“The team is obviously doing well and it’s hard to break into, but it is up to me to work hard and earn my place in it. I want to help the team and if I can then it will be good for me.

“Since I have come to Hibs I haven’t played as much as I would have liked, but I thank God for me being able to participate in the game and that I managed to play all of it. Every player loves football and they want to be playing in matches.

“Even though it was a game in the reserve league, I cherish it. If it keeps me fit for the team and the future, then I can’t turn it down. It was good to be involved.”

Despite falling out of the reckoning, Bigirimana – who only signed to the end of the season – was part of the Burundi team last month which drew their final qualifying match with Gabon to seal a place in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations for the first time.

He told Hibs’ official website: “As everybody saw, it was a historical moment for the nation and the team. It has been 57 years now since we got independence [from Belgium], and nothing has lifted the country like that game.”