'I want pace, power and athleticism' - Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom outlines plans for next season
Paul Heckingbottom has revealed he wants a Hibs side full of pace and power next season - but insisted they won’t become a long ball team.
The Easter Road boss is facing a major rebuild of his squad over the summer months after 13 first team players left at the end of the season although he hopes to entice both striker Marc McNulty and midfielder Stephane Omeonga into returning.
But Heckingbottom has a clear vision of what he wants to see, saying: “I want pace and power in the team, I want athleticism, I want players who are good one agsainst one, just to get more control over every aspect of the game.
“We have defended great, we’ve had control of the ball but I want that control to allow us to create more chances.
“We could play in a different way and be more direct and hope for more chances. But I don’t want that, I want to have more control of the game with the ball, without the ball and good players one v one.”
Heckingbottom believes his vision of the side he wants to build will make it easier to identify the type of player he needs and admitted he’s facing a hectic time even while on holiday.
He said: “In doing this job the only time I remember switching off is when the window shuts and it coincides with the international break and you get a couple of days away then.
“The phone literally stops ringing, no-one’s bothered about you then, no agents want you, the job is done and you can chill out.
“But apart from that, when the phone rings you get nervous. You feel like you have to take it because that could be the call that changes your season.
“I’m lucky here in that I have a lot more support in Graeme Mathie [head of player identification and recruitment] and George Craig [head of football operations]. We’re all on the same page. If someone misses me, then they’ll get Graeme or vice-versa. So it’s much better in that respect.”