Hibs manager Paul Heckingbottom has spoke about what worried him the most during his side’s defeat to Rangers at Ibrox.
They were thrashed 6-1 by the Govan outfit, with Hibs looking worse for where throughout the match.
Heckingbottom’s men couldn’t live with their opponents and it showed on the scoreline. Now the Englishman has said the ‘passive’ nature of his side’s performances is what cost them the most.
He told the Edinburgh Evening News: “You could break it into three parts for me. The first, start of the game, for 35 minutes we were second best so that’s what set the tone for the game.
“We got back into it through our goal and could make some changes at half-time. We were comfortable then, you were thinking about different things then the sending off totally changes the game.
“The first part of it when it was 11 v 11 is the bit where we were second best for long spells, we were a bit too passive. I could sit and give Rangers all the credit in the world but I’m more bothered about us an how we approach it.”
Ibrox defeat is a wake up call for Hibs and Heckingbottom
Whilst they weren’t favourites for this game, very few people could have predicted such a scoreline by the end of the 90 minutes.
Hibs were mauled by Rangers throughout the match. The sending off for Sean Mackie only made things worse, but even before that, Hibs were second best.
They had one moment of magic through Scott Allan’s exquisite pass that put Daryl Horgan through to score for the Hibees, but that was about it.
It’s a wake up call for Heckingbottom and his players. Some of the new signings went into hiding at Ibrox. They need to gain some more confidence and fitness if they want to compete at the right end of the table.
Heckingbottom never really challenged Rangers either. His game plan looked more like preventing defeat rather than going out to win a game. If he’d have played to Hibs’ strengths, the scoreline perhaps wouldn’t have been as bad.
It’s a case of lessons learned for Heckingbottom and Hibs at Ibrox. They need a couple of good results in quick succession to get fans back onside after a demoralising defeat.