‘Where are the points going to come from, especially the way Hibs are playing now?’
Life isn’t going to get any easier for Paul Heckingbottom with tomorrow night’s Betfred Cup tie against Kilmarnock quickly followed by games against Celtic and Aberdeen.
Going down to Rugby Park is perhaps not a bad game, a one-off match away from the trials and tribulations of the Premiership with a semi-final place at Hampden for the winners to look forward to.
But while everyone would welcome that, I’d gladly have swapped it for three points in the derby. The league table makes miserable reading for Hibs fans, a point off bottom place so while the cup is always great, I’d argue beating Hearts would outstrip a win over Killie this midweek.
Yes, it’s only six games in, but a derby victory would have lifted us to mid-table, lifted the confidence of the players and given everyone at the club a bit of breathing space.
As I said last week, a draw wasn’t going to much use to either side but it’s Hearts who have enjoyed that psychological boost, jumping from bottom to eighth and leapfrogging us.
Now their Betfred Cup quarter-final against Aberdeen and next weekend’s trip to St Mirren will take on a totally different complexion as far as they are concerned.
The worry now for us is exactly where the points are going to come from, especially the way we are playing at the moment. You certainly don’t feel, given current form, that we are suddenly going to go out and win three or four games on the trot, particularly with the next two we have.
Heckingbottom made a big call in putting Chris Maxwell in for his first league game on Sunday and he’s going to have to make some tough decisions going forward.
There’s an apparent reluctance on his part to rely on many of the players he brought in over the summer, not least Christian Doidge for whom Hibs spent what, for us, is big money.
I find that rather strange, each of the new arrivals has been talked up and yet, at the moment, few of them are getting the opportunity to show what they can do. Now might be their chance.