Heckingbottom blasts Hibs’ mental strength following Ross County collapse
Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom said he felt “helpless” following his team’s 2-2 draw at home to Ross County on Saturday.
Hibs conceded two late goals against County to deny them their second win of the season, as the Edinburgh side remain in 11th place in the league table.
Heckingbottom, who faced fresh calls to be sacked from his own supporters at full time, didn’t shy away from the result, citing the mental strength of him and his team as the reason they lost their lead.
“We won’t make any excuses. Today, that was us,” he said.
“It was the mental approach to the game that cost us today. We can’t look at anything, or anyone, or any decisions, it was a mentality thing where the apprehension which was felt was probably evident on the pitch as well.”
After Ross County’s equaliser, chants echoed around Easter Road calling for Heckingbottom to be sacked. Despite this, the manager is committed to steering the club in a more positive direction but admits he can only do so much himself.
On the chants, Heckingbottom said: “It’s not nice, but it’s part of the job. Sitting in the stand, you feel helpless. Ultimately, you want to go on the pitch and be the one winning the ball back, be the one tracking the runner, be the one heading the ball. But you have to accept that it can’t be you.”
Goalscorer Daryl Horgan came out to express his support for his manager, assuring that he’s a “huge, huge fan of his.”
Horgan came into the game from the bench at the start of the second half and was instantly impactful, scoring the opening goal of the game just five minutes in.
On Heckingbottom, Horgan said: “I’m a massive fan of the manager. Football’s a funny game, a very immediate game. Last year, it was all ‘Heckingbottom’s at the wheel, he’s the next great manager in Scotland and everything’s all rosy.’ Now, a couple of months down the line, people want him out.
“We’ve done him no favours. 2-0 up, he’s back at the wheel at that stage. It ends 2-2 and he’s the world’s worst. It comes down to the players, the manager, everyone. We need to do better as a group, we’re not far away but we’ve been saying that for too long now. We just need to get over the line.”