Hibs win but Paul Heckingbottom wants more improvement as he rubbishes Oli Shaw transfer rumours
Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom admitted he wasn’t entirely pleased after watching his side defeat Arbroath 3-0 to take a huge step towards qualifying for the knock-out stages of the Betfred Cup.
Goals from Flo Kamberi, Scott Allan and Fraser Murray took his team to the top of Group C ahead of their final match, Friday night’s televised game away to League Two Elgin City.
But the head coach insisted there was little difference to Hibs’ previous two matches against Stirling Albion and Alloa Athletic, claiming the big factor was that last night they scored early, Kamberi’s opener having come in less than three minutes.
“There were lots of things we did well, lots of things we didn’t do so well and which need to be better,” said Heckingbottom. “The big difference was getting an early goal.
“We could’ve scored umpteen and they had one effort on target. In three games we’ve conceded three efforts on target, which is unbelievable. But it’s unbelievable that we’ve only scored six goals from the number we’ve created.”
Heckingbottom made six changes to the side which played at the weekend, giving former Bolton Wanderers midfielder Josh Vela his debut only a few days after signing a three year deal.
He said: “Josh hasn’t played for a long time but he tested great physically and he’s been looking after himself which was why we put him in.
“We knew he could cope with up to 60 minutes so I am delighted because If he hadn’t been able to play he’d just have been running this week. Not only is he getting fitness but feedback from his time on the pitch.”
Heckingbottom admitted he’s still very much in pre-season mode saying: “We are keeping tabs on the minutes and everyone will have played a really good amount before the first game (against St Mirren on August 3).”
Meanwhile, Heckingbottom dismissed reports linking striker Oli Shaw with a move to the English Championship with his old club Barnsley and Tony Mowbray’s Blackburn Rovers said to be interested along with League One Wigan Athletic.
“What do you want me to say on it?” he said. “The amount of stuff I read that’s rubbish. No-one has spoken to me, whether it’s someone trying to drum up interest.
“It’s down to Oli, he’s certainly come back in much better nick than he finished the season in. We were really clear in what we wanted and it’s down to him to get into the team, there is a pathway there.
“If he is performing well he will be in the team.”