Three things we learned from Hibs’ derby defeat

Here are three Hibs-related observations following their 2-1 defeat at home to Hearts.

Sunday, 22nd September 2019, 18:43 pm
Defeat to Hearts cranked up the heat on Paul Heckingbottom.

Hecky in trouble

This was a big chance for the under-pressure Paul Heckingbottom to turn the tide in his favour. When his team went 1-0 up against a beleaguered Hearts side offering little in attack, he must have been sensing a much-needed victory. Instead, he ended the afternoon at his lowest ebb since arriving in the job as his team let Hearts off the hook in pretty meek fashion. Eleventh in the table after six league matches, the manager is already facing mutiny from supporters.

New number one?

In the eyes of most supporters, Ofir Marciano is the undisputed number one goalkeeper at Hibs. Heckingbottom clearly is not of the same mindset. The manager is a big admirer of Chris Maxwell, his summer signing on loan from Preston North End, and he underlined the faith he has in him by pitching him in for his first Premiership start against Hearts after a four-game league run in which Marciano had conceded 13 goals, a few of which he could have done better with. Maxwell had no saves of note to make, but generally dealt well with a raft of crosses that came into his box. Heckingbottom’s choice of goalkeeper for Wednesday’s trip to Kilmarnock will be intriguing.

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Kamberi needs a partner

The system Hibs are using at present doesn’t look conducive to getting the best out of Florian Kamberi, their main striker. The Swiss stuck to his task against Hearts, kept trying to make the right runs and wasn’t scared to mix it with the likes of Christophe Berra and Craig Halkett, but ultimately he was nullified again. Kamberi looks like a player in desperate need of a strike partner to ease the burden and increase the goal threat, with Christian Doidge, Oli Shaw and Glenn Middleton, who played centrally for Scotland Under-21s, the most obvious candidates.