Hibs new boy Adam Jackson can’t wait to work with Paul Heckingbottom again
Adam Jackson is relishing the prospect of being reunited with Paul Heckingbottom after joining Hibs on a two-year contract.
The 25-year-old centre-back moves to Edinburgh after spending the past three years with Barnsley, where he worked under the current Easter Road head coach.
This is the second time Jackson has been signed by Heckingbottom after he previously took him to Oakwell from Middlesbrough in 2016. The defender described it as “a no-brainer” to join up with his old manager once more when the opportunity arose towards the end of the season just finished.
“I was with him for around 18 months and he was brilliant,” Jackson told Hibs TV. “I didn’t really play that much in the first season but I learned a lot on the training pitch from him and improved a lot. When I finally got playing I felt like I’d improved a lot. I’ve come here to do the same again.”
Jackson made 42 appearances for Barnsley over the past three seasons, the majority of which came under Heckingbottom before he left to take over at Leeds United a year past February. He is excited by the prospect of joining Hibs at a time when his former manager has already made a positive impact since replacing Neil Lennon almost four months ago.
“When the gaffer came in here he won a lot of games in a row,” noted Jackson. “Why wouldn’t I join? There’s no reason not to. It’s a good club, they’re playing well, it’s the perfect time to join.
“I’m buzzing to finally get it done. It’s been spoken about for the last three weeks and I just wanted to get up here and get it sorted.”
Jackson attended the last Edinburgh derby of the season a month ago and was impressed by the atmosphere as Hibs played out a 1-1 draw with Hearts at Easter Road.
“That sealed it for me, after coming to that game,” he said. “The atmosphere, the stadium and the training ground, everything was excellent. I know the gaffer as well so everything together made it perfect. I spoke to the manager briefly after that game and then again a couple of weeks later. That was it for me and I just wanted to get up and get the deal done. I’m glad it’s finally done.”
Jackson, who will compete with Darren McGregor, Paul Hanlon and Ryan Porteous for a place in Hibs’ defence, described himself as a “no-nonsense” centre-back.
“I’ll head it and kick it if I can,” he said. “I’ll put my body on the line and block it if it’s there to be blocked. I put everything in and I also think I’m quite a good communicator so hopefully that comes across.
“A big part of the gaffer’s game for a centre-back is to get the ball off the goalkeeper and play out. I was a bit sceptical at first but he kept drilling it into us and we got a lot better at it. He was also big on pressing and setting traps. I think I learned a lot from that, when to do it and when not to do it. Hopefully I can bring that with me up here.”
Heckingbottom was delighted to secure the signing of Jackson. “The fact it’s come so early in the summer is hopefully indicative of the work that has gone on and is going on behind the scenes here,” he said. “It also shows Adam’s own enthusiasm to play for Hibernian.
“I know all about Adam’s qualities having signed him in the first place for Barnsley and he was one I was set on bringing to Easter Road.
“Adam initially caught my eye when he excelled at a young age (on loan) in League Two with Hartlepool United and I watched him for a long time before signing him for Barnsley. Adam has a real physical presence. He is strong in the air and understands how we want to defend and how we look to play out from the back, so he’s ideally suited to the way we like to play.”