Talking point: ‘Hecky’ seems to be driving Hibs in the right direction

Paul Heckingbottoms tactical tweak made a difference to Hibs play.
Paul Heckingbottoms tactical tweak made a difference to Hibs play.
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“Hecky’s at the wheel” has been the Hibs fans’ song of choice in recent weeks after a promising start to Paul Heckingbottom’s reign as head coach.

By half-time against Rangers, this catchy chant - to the tune of Waterfall by the Stone Roses - seemed in danger of being ditched, temporarily at least, as supporters were left exasperated at what they viewed as a second consecutive meek display at home to Old Firm opposition.

Having been defeated 2-0 by Celtic in the Scottish Cup in their previous match, the last thing Hibs needed was a similar outcome against Rangers, especially given that the team had generally performed well against the Glasgow sides under the Yorkshireman’s predecessor Neil Lennon.

To the credit of both Heckingbottom and his team, however, they found a way to salvage a match which had looked like it was going to be won comfortably by the impressive visitors. Hibs were wide open in midfield and proving too easy to play through in the first half hour.

Heckingbottom recognised this and switched from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1 with central striker Florian Kamberi moved out to the left wing and Stephane Omeonga moving inside to a more central role. The extra body in the middle helped Hibs stem the flow of Rangers attacks and they eventually went on to seize a foothold in the second half.

In the end, they rescued a point which meant that instead of lamenting a second consecutive home defeat, Heckingbottom was able to extend his unbeaten start in the Premiership to four matches and further enhance his team’s chances of a top-six finish.

That second-half fightback has significantly improved the narrative from a Hibs perspective. After a slight bump in the road, “Hecky” - with ten points from a possible 12 - still appears to be driving them in the right direction.