Heckingbottom wants strength from his out of form players

Defeat at Kilmarnock means Hibernian have on just one of their last 10 Ladbrokes Premiership matches.

By Press Association Published: 14 September 2019 - 5.27pm

UK

Football

Scotland

Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom claims his players must show more character and resilience after they slumped to another Ladbrokes Premiership defeat

Kilmarnock secured a 2-0 win at Rugby Park following second half goals from Liam Millar and Mohamed El Makrini,  meaning Hibs have now won just one of their last 10 league games.

Heckingbottom was dismayed by the way his side folded after they conceded the opening goal and admits he needs leaders to stand up and be counted to turn around their form.

Heckingbottom said: “We weren’t clinical. We had a lot of the ball, they had two shots on target and scored two goals.

“It’s about belief and not passing the buck. I questioned the players after the last game and wanted a response.

“I felt until the first goal the boys were working well and the mistakes killed us. We conceded four from mistakes the last time.

“After the first goal went in the heads went down and the body language changed.

“How you put mental strength in someone, that’s what it looks like now. We want more character.

“Every team needs leaders but a lot of the boys were on the good run last season. We were conceding one shot on target each game then.

“We have to put that right. We have to win when we aren’t at our best.

“Were we the best team before they scored? I thought we were but when they score we have to get back into the game and grind out something.”

A section of the travelling support chanted for Heckingbottom to go, just as they did two weeks ago at Fir Park and the 42-year-old admits the only way they can ease the pressure is by getting results.

He added: “Wins turn it around – that’s it.

“We’ve won games where we weren’t playing well. We had to grind things out – St Johnstone away with 10 men. I don’t see us being that type of team at the moment and that’s what we need.”

In contrast, Kilmarnock manager Angelo Alessio has turned around his side’s fortunes after their disappointing start to the season.

The home support chanted his name as Killie stretched their unbeaten run to four games and Alessio savoured the win.

Alessio said: “I’m pleased but this is my work – sometimes we lose a game, sometimes we win. At this moment we kept going because the last result is very good.

“I asked this of the team and in the second half we were more aggressive. We played better than the first half. Every game is a balance and is tough.

I’m very happy for my team and the squad. I want to say thanks to my staff and everybody working around the team.

“In the last months we’ve been working hard every day and I think we deserved this result.

“I think this team deserves it because we now have good compartments, a solid team and we work hard every week. I know only this way to reach good results.”