Paul Heckingbottom: I don’t need a vote of confidence from Hibs chiefs

Under-pressure Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom says he’s in no need of a vote of confidence ahead of tomorrow’s Edinburgh derby, claiming: “It doesn’t mean anything.”

Saturday, 21st September 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 21st September 2019, 7:00 am
Paul Heckingbottom faces the media ahead of Sundays crunch derby at Easter Road

Heckingbottom has come under fire as the Easter Road side have failed to win since the opening day of the season, now sitting just two points ahead of Capital rivals Hearts, who sit at the very foot of the Premiership table.

He has, though, escaped the very public demonstration directed at his Tynecastle counterpart Craig Levein, who faced a protest demanding his sacking in the wake of the Jambos’ latest setback, defeat by Motherwell.

Those scenes prompted Hearts chairman Ann Budge to issue a statement backing her manager and director of football, but asked if he felt he needed such support, Heckingbottom said: “I don’t think I need that.

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“Does it mean anything? I don’t think it means anything, anyway. It is what football has come to. Managers have already lost their jobs this season, having set records and reached cup finals last season. That’s what it is.

“If you spend time worrying about it, making decisions because you are trying to save jobs, not doing what you believe in or pushing to create something, you are always going to be short term.

“It is a frustrating part of the job, something that winds you up. It probably gets me more angry than worried. It’s something you always have to deal with. It’s today’s world, they want everything now.”

If there have been no public utterances from Hibs new owner Ron Gordon, Heckingbottom has been involved in numerous conversations with the American multi-millionaire, the latest coming after the 2-0 defeat at Kilmarnock.

And he insisted, it’s that relationship and the club’s long-term plans which are central to his thinking, although he’s aware of the fans’ perceptions, how things are reported in the media and on social media.

He said: “There are so many things come into the dynamic of trying to be successful. You have to ignore the noise if you know, as a coach, what your role is within a club and what you’ve been pushed to do, what support you’re getting, your part in a bigger plan.

“As a manager, you are always out in front of the cameras, speaking about it. And you’ve got to lead as much as you can, be the face. You’re paid to do that. But you are not the most important person at the club. The decision makers are. They have the money, pay the wages, set the plan, drive it forward. So the only thing we have to focus on and be bothered about is that relationship. How we do it, how we want to go about it, how we make good decisions.

“We had a massive turnaround at the start of the season and we now think we’re in a position to improve the club, in control of the players we’ve got, moving them in and out when we want to move them in and out, getting maximum revenue for a player or moving a player out if he’s not been performing. That’s your job between now and the window. We’ve go to amass as many points as possible before the next window - and keep improving.”