There is no doubt that Hibernian have made progress under head coach Paul Heckingbottom. When he took over the team from Neil Lennon, there was a danger Hibs might have missed out on the top six.

However, following the 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock, Hibs reached the top six with a game to spare. So far, aside from a Scottish Cup defeat to Celtic, there has been nothing but progress under Heckingbottom.

(photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Now the Hibs boss faces his toughest test yet. His first taste of the Edinburgh derby, as Hibs travel to Tynecastle to play Hearts on Saturday afternoon.

(photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)


This game will show how far Hibs have come under Heckingbottom. If he can achieve a win at Tynecastle – something Neil Lennon couldn’t – it would show that the Easter Road side are back in business.

(photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

A defeat though would show that Heckingbottom still has work to do to get Hibs back into Europe.

The five games after the split will also reveal a lot about Hibs. They will face Hearts again, and games against Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen and Kilmarnock.

If Hibs aren’t marooned in sixth place after those games it will be considered a good end to the season.

Even if they end up in sixth place, there has been enough progress made under Heckingbottom to show that Hibs can go into next season with plenty of confidence.


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