Hibernian appoint Paul Heckingbottom as new manager on deal until 2022

13 Feb

Hibernian highlighted Paul Heckingbottom’s commitment to attacking football as they appointed the former Leeds and Barnsley manager as their new head coach.

Heckingbottom won the race to succeed Neil Lennon and has signed a deal until the summer of 2022.

Former Blackburn manager Michael Appleton had been hotly tipped to take over earlier in the week but contract talks reportedly stalled and Heckingbottom has been handed the role.

The 41-year-old led Barnsley to a Football League Trophy triumph and promotion to the Sky Bet Championship in 2016 during a spell in caretaker charge and consolidated their position in England’s second tier after getting the job on a full-time basis.

He left for Leeds last season but lasted only four months before being replaced by Marcelo Bielsa in the summer.

Heckingbottom won the EFL Trophy and saw Barnsley promoted in 2016

Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster said in a statement: “Paul made a really positive impression on us from our first meeting with him.

“His work at Barnsley speaks for itself, where he was able to combine the kind of dynamic, attacking football our own fans appreciate with the development of some talented young players.

“With the structure we already have in place, Paul is the right person to embrace that support and take it to a new level.

Heckingbottom will be assisted by former Scotland international Robbie Stockdale.

Neil Lennon left Hibs by ‘mutual consent’

He said: “It’s an honour to be named head coach of Hibernian Football Club – a club with a rich history and commitment to playing attacking football.

“There is so much potential here and the club has everything going for it.

“I’m looking forward to getting to work and meeting the players and staff on Thursday, before stepping up preparations for Saturday’s game against Hamilton.

“I will give everything I have to be a success here. Supporters can be assured of that.”

Hibs sit in eighth place in the Ladbrokes Premiership and have a William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final against Celtic to look forward to.

Leeds United news: Former boss Paul Heckingbottom praises revolutionary impact of Marcelo Bielsa

13 Aug

Former Leeds manager Paul Heckingbottom has praised Marcelo Bielsa for giving the club a much-needed shake-up.

Heckingbottom was sacked by the club in June after just four months in charge and replaced by Bielsa.

Heckingbottom was Leeds manager between February and June 2018

The eccentric Argentine has since won his opening two games in emphatic fashion, cruising past Championship favourites Stoke and thrashing highly-fancied Derby.

Heckingbottom, who was the Whites’ eleventh manager in just four years, believes Bielsa is exactly what the turbulent club needs.

He told talkSPORT: “The most important thing is that he has got a way of working and it’s given the whole club a shake-up, which is what it needed.

“He’s the figurehead, he’s the person who is calling all the shots.

“The club needed that, it needed some real direction to it and hopefully he’s providing that now.”

However, Heckingbottom warned that Bielsa’s high-octane, intense brand of football will be difficult to maintain in such a physically demanding league.

He added: “They certainly had a tough pre-season, with three sessions per day. And, at the minute, it’s looking really good.

Bielsa’s methods are demanding

“Hopefully that will bear its teeth later on in the season if they can keep that strength because they definitely play with a pace and a power about them.

“The Championship is relentless. It’s a unique league in that sense – 46 games.

“He will have to rein it in now the games have started.

“It’s only two games. After nine games last season, Leeds were top of the league and then fell away massively. One of the problems was fitness levels.

“If he has addressed that in pre-season and there’s a better base-fitness to the players then hopefully that won’t be an issue this season.”