Paul Heckingbottom speaks after Hibs lose at Kilmarnock and pressure mounts

Paul Heckingbottom has insisted there is no better game for his struggling side than next Sunday's derby with Capital rivals Hearts.

Sunday, 15th September 2019, 9:39 am
Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom suffered yet another disappointing result as his side lost 2-0 at Kilmarnock. Pic: SNS.

But the Hibs head coach admitted there will be no hiding place for his players after watching them slump to a 2-0 defeat by Kilmarnock, a result which leaves the Easter Road side with just four points from their opening five Premiership matches.

Hearts, however, are in even more dire straights, beaten 3-2 at home by Motherwell, a defeat which saw the Jambos fall to the bottom of the table. Heckingbottom, however, was adamant he wasn't interested in the Tynecastle club's predicament.

He said: "This game takes care of itself. It’s still only three points and September. But it’s the perfect game – your fans saying we need to be stronger mentally, more aggressive, more disciplined in the game. Edinburgh derby – I’d have one every week. I loved them,

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Heckingbottom accepted he and Hearts boss Craig Levein are under pressure, but claimed: "You’re under pressure every game. We’ve lost two games in a row, that’s it. But good teams don’t lose two games.

"What people say isn’t our concern, it’s about putting that right. Other clubs I’m not really bothered about. There’s no hiding place for players. We had two Edinburgh derbies last season and regardless of how we were playing we played well in both.

"Things change because of the ferocity of the game and you have to stand up and you learn about your players."

Having said that, Heckingbottom admitted he was disappointed at how his players reacted to going a goal down at Rugby Park, Liam Millar firing Killie ahead before Mohamed El Makrini sealed the points with a second goal for the Ayrshire club.

He said: "It’s never nice getting beaten. You feel you’re in control and thinking how you break them down because they defended well. We had five or six shots on target and we got done by 70-yard pass. It was a shocking goal and it changed the complexion. We then got done on the counter when we tried to force things. I could say we did this or that but you get what you deserve.

"We weren’t clinical. We had a lot of the ball, they had two shots on target and scored two goals. t’s about belief and not passing the buck. I questioned the players after the last game and wanted response. I felt until the first goal the boys were working well and the mistakes killed us. We conceded four from mistakes the last time.

"After the first goal went in the heads went down and the body language changed."