Former Barnsley and Leeds United manager Paul Heckingbottom may need to win next Sunday’s Edinburgh derby to save his job after his Hibernian side lost 2-0 at Kilmarnock yesterday, their third defeat in five league games.
The 42-year-old was appointed Hibs boss in February and the club enjoyed a positive end to last season under his guidance.
Things have not gone well for Heckingbottom this season though with his Hibs side winning just the one game against struggling St Mirren thanks to a late goal on opening day. Since that victory, the club have conceded 16 goals in just five games in all competitions, a sequence which includes six goals shipped against Rangers and three goals netted by Motherwell and second tier side Greenock Morton.
The Hibernian fans are becoming restless as they await the brand of stylish attacking football which the club is renowned for and many are now calling for manager Heckingbottom’s head after comparing his downfall to the one experienced by former boss Colin Calderwood eight years ago.
The former Barnsley and Leeds United boss may need to beat bitter city rivals Heart of Midlothian at Easter Road next weekend if he is to save his job. The latest Edinburgh derby holds huge importance for both clubs with opponents Hearts currently winless at the bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership table. Their 3-2 home defeat to Motherwell yesterday saw fans protest for manager Craig Levein’s sacking after the final whistle. The axe could now fall on the losing manager in next weekend’s huge derby in Leith.
Heckingbottom has won 11 of his 24 matches in charge of Hibs, his highest win rate since he was caretaker manager at Barnsley. The South Yorkshireman transformed The Tykes’ form during his time at Oakwell, winning promotion from Sky Bet League One as well at the EFL Trophy in 2015/2016 in the process.
After keeping Barnsley out of relegation trouble in the Sky Bet Championship, Heckingbottom moved to Leeds United but won just four of his 16 matches before being dismissed just four months into the job.