Three observations from Hibs’ 5-2 Betfred Cup semi-final defeat by Celtic
Hampden talking points
More woe for Hecky
After ten games without a league win, this semi-final offered Paul Heckingbottom a glimmer of hope of significantly easing the pressure which has been building on him ever since the start of this grim campaign. While his team showed promise in the opening 15 minutes and then displayed admirable spirit for a half-hour period in the second half, ultimately they were well beaten. A five-goal concession in a national semi-final was the last thing a manager as embattled as Heckingbottom needed. It remains to be seen if the Yorkshireman will still be in charge for next weekend’s trip to St Johnstone.
Leaving it too late again
Against Livingston on Wednesday, Hibs didn’t show the required urgency and intent until they were 2-0 down. Here at Hampden, it was only after they had fallen 2-0 down and then 3-1 down that they mustered any genuine threat, save for a brief period of brightness in the opening ten minutes. While they can take some heart from the way they got at Celtic in parts of the game, it is the periods when they are switching off, losing their focus and dropping their intensity levels that are ultimately undermining any flickers of promise.
At a time when their team have been struggling so badly and were pitted against the strongest side in the country, the 7500 Hibs fans who chose to travel through to Hampden deserve maximum credit. While plenty of their fellow supporters had thought better of it and stayed at home to watch on television, those present got right behind their team and made plenty noise. However, as evidenced by the sporadic bouts of booing, particularly in the first half, they are growing increasingly disenchanted with their team and manager.