Paul Heckingbottom has spoken in the wake of Hibs’ League Cup semi-final defeat, saying that their match against St Johnstone will be a ‘cup final’ for the club.
Goals from Melker Hallberg and Florian Kamberi couldn’t save Hibs as they fell to a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Celtic.
Whilst Heckingbottom is disappointed to lose this match, he says the league is where Hibs will really have judgements made about them.
He told the BBC: “It’s the league where we’re judged. I’ve got to park that, get rid of it. Because we’re playing a cup final next week. We all know things could have been so much better in the league. But it’s not so we have to put that right.
“You can’t expect to get anything when you go two down to Celtic that early on. That’s where the game was lost for me.
“Whether that was the occasion – Hampden for a semi-final – or the pressure Celtic put on us because of how quick they were making us play. That’s where it was lost, that first part of the game.”
Hibs have to win St Johnstone match
Nobody really expected Hibs to topple a relentless Celtic side who won their 30th domestic cup match in a row at Hampden. The Hibees battled in spells but it wasn’t enough.
It’s back to league action next weekend when they travel to Perth and how the Easter Road side need a win. If results go against them, they could go into the relegation play-off spots.
Dropped points could also leave them as many as eight points outside the top six. It’s a potentially wide gap that will leave Hibs racing against time to make up for it.
Whilst defeat in the cup is disappointing, a win against St Johnstone will be more important to their season as a whole.