Hibs manager Paul Heckingbottom has defended his summer signings after a disappointing start to the campaign.
The Hibees have won just once in the league since April and some fans have called for their manager’s sacking.
One disappointing factor of this season alone is the little impact summer signings have made so far in Leith.
Heckingbottom says that they are just taking their time adapting to the Scottish game.
He told the Daily Mail (page 90, 25/09: “Regardless of what anyone says, there’s a real intensity. I have spoken a hell of a lot about this, not just on the pitch, how it is played and refereed, but from the stands, around the ground.
“That doesn’t mean the grounds have to be full to feel it. There’s an attachment from every fan with the club that you can feel from the terraces — even in smaller grounds with smaller crowds.
“So you have to be ready for that, to embrace it and use it, use it if it’s against you to drive you, use it if it’s with you to push you even further on. That’s something these players are getting used to. It’s not been holding them back in any shape or form. They have to take responsibility to step up and take a shirt.”
Heckingbottom has to trust his Hibs summer signings
Whilst he has issued a strong defence for his new players, Heckingbottom needs to show that he trust them out on the pitch also.
Against Hearts five of his ten new signings were on the bench. Against Kilmarnock, there were six of them on the sidelines.
They may be adapting to the game up here, but the Hibees boss has to start playing them more often. It’s almost October and many of his signings still look out of their depth in the SPFL.
In a time where there’s no room for error, Heckingbottom can’t really afford to risk players that are adapting to the SPFL. At some stage though, he’s going to have to do just that to prove his signings are decent acquisitions.