Ian Murray: Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom needs more time

Ian Murray insists it is too early to write off Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 6:00 am
Ian Murray

The Easter Road manager has been heavily criticised by supporters following an unconvincing start to the season, with many already calling for a change in the hotseat.

Heckingbottom has taken charge of 23 games since replacing Neil Lennon in February and Murray, a former Hibs captain and current manager of Airdrieonians, believes the under-fire Yorkshireman should be allowed more time to integrate his ten new signings after a summer transfer window in which ten players also left Easter Road.

“The manager’s not been there very long - you’ve got to give him time,” Murray told the Evening News. “There’s been a lot of changes at Hibs this summer. They’ve changed owner and there’s been a big turnover of players. It’s not as easy as clicking your fingers and winning games every week. It’s very difficult. I can sympathise with the management team and the club at the moment because it’s a difficult period.”

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Murray lost his previous managerial job at St Mirren after just 21 matches and believes that those in his profession come under pressure far too quickly. He feels a couple of positive results, including a win over fellow strugglers Hearts in the derby at Easter Road a week on Sunday, would go a long way to turning the tide back in Heckingbottom’s favour.

“It’s difficult for managers these days,” said Murray. “Paul will have his own style of play he’s trying to implement and he’s got his own players in, although he’s probably not got all his first-choice signing targets because you rarely do. But all it takes is a couple of results and you’re back on track. The derby game coming up is probably going to be a pivotal one for both teams.”

Hibs completed their summer transfer business by signing Peterborough United right-back Jason Naismith on a season-long loan. Murray, who worked with the 25-year-old at St Mirren in 2015, believes he can be a good acquisition for Heckingbottom. “Jason did his cruciate in the second game of the season so we didn’t get to see him as much as we wanted but he was a great athlete with an excellent attitude,” said Murray. “He was strong and quick. He had to work slightly on his final ball but that was four years ago so I’m sure he’s done that. I think he’ll be a decent signing.