Hibs: Paul Heckingbottom relishing return of competitive games and reveals approach to Betfred Cup

Paul Heckingbottom reckons Hibs' pre-season programme has been good, but the Easter Road head coach insists he can't wait for the return of meaningful games.

Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 1:02 pm
Paul Heckingbottom in action during the Pro Am event at the Scottish Open
Paul Heckingbottom in action during the Pro Am event at the Scottish Open

Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of his involvement in the Scottish Open Pro Am event this morning at the Renaissance Club, Heckingbottom said: "Pre-season's been good. The first three games are all about getting minutes, and bedding in the new players.

"It'll be similar in the next four, in the League Cup, however we want to win the games.

"It's something I'm looking forward to; I'm not a fan of the pre-season games. You don't know what to say to the players - do you get angry, do you not... Obviously now we have to win, we want to win, and I prefer it that way."

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Hibs No.2 Robbie Stockdale was also in attendance at the Renaissance Club

Heckingbottom was also asked about Ron Gordon's takeover of the club, and whether plans had been altered as a result of the historic change in ownership.

The former Barnsley boss, who played alongside Italian golfer Andrea Pavan this morning, insisted it was business as usual at the Capital club, as far as the players and coaching staff were concerned.

"Nothing's changed. Ron's come in, written the debt off, there's been a cash investment straight into the club, but the plans haven't changed.

"It's about improvement now, in all areas of the football club, so he'll be having a good look around every department and looking to see how we can improve.

"Everybody wants the same thing - to be successful. The biggest thing was to write the debt off, so the running costs have come down considerably," Heckingbottom explained.

"Anything else we can add in terms of value, revenue - our part is to be successful on the pitch. It's about each department doing their bit and helping each other."

Asked if he felt Hibs could challenge defending Scottish Premiership champions Celtic over the season, the Hibs head coach stressed: "Our aim is to be better than last year - that's it. We feel like we're at the start of something. I said that all along, even without knowing about the takeover.

"Then the takeover's come, and the timing couldn't be better.

"We've got a big turnover of players now on long-term deals, and new ownership, which is great for us, so now it's the start of something.

"We've had a turnaround because of the players out and the players in, but we still want the same standards and the same results."