Hibs boss expects Aberdeen clash to give him clearer picture of summer rebuild

Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom
Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom
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Paul Heckingbottom has revealed that Sunday’s final game of the season against Aberdeen will offer some of his squad a last chance to convince him they have a future with Hibs.

He insists the Easter Road clash with the Dons will “resolve” how many new players he needs to bring to Easter Road. Heckingbottom says he needs to rebuild his squad over the summer with loan players Marc McNulty, Ryan Gauld, Adam Bogdan, Thomas Agyepong, Stephane Omeonga and Darnell Johnson all due to return to their parent clubs. Jonathan Spector and Gael Bigirimana’s short-term contracts are coming to an end while Marvin Bartley and Miquel Nelom will also become free agents.

Work on identifying possible targets has been underway since Heckingbottom arrived in Edinburgh in early February with the head coach hoping to have new signings in place by the time his squad return for pre-season training on June 20.

“We will bring players in,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that. It’s how many we bring in or how many we need to bring in that will be resolved in the next game.”

Having described his team’s performance as they lost 1-0 to Kilmarnock as “rubbish”, Heckingbottom will be seeking a much-improved display against the Dons, admitting he’s looking forward to the challenge presented by a side which, like Killie, is fighting for third place in the Premiership and the automatic Europa League spot it carries. He told Hibs TV: “It’s good for us playing two teams that are fighting, scrapping for that third spot. I’d rather be playing against hungry sides than other teams similar to us whose season has fizzled out. So it’s another big game for us, at home against a team competing with Kilmarnock.”