Hibernian: Paul Heckingbottom was only person offered job

Hibs players training
Hibernian players had their first training session with new head coach Paul Heckingbottom on Friday

New Hibernian boss Paul Heckingbottom was the only person offered the job, says chief executive Leeann Dempster.

It was reported former Blackburn Rovers boss Michael Appleton turned down the position before ex-Barnsley and Leeds United manager Heckingbottom, 41, was appointed on Wednesday.

Dempster, who refused to take questions on why Neil Lennon left the role, said Heckingbottom would "make us better".

"I was looking for the right person and the right match," she added.

"Neil had a terrific couple of seasons. We were good for him and undoubtedly he was good for us. But we agreed a position - the club and Neil together - and we said we weren't going to speak about it.

"I think some of the speculation and comments have been outrageous. When people don't know they tend to surmise.

"I'm here to try and lead the club and that means you make difficult and tough decisions. I think it's right that you tell supporters what you can when you can."

'You've got to win over the fans'

Lennon won promotion from the Scottish Championship and a earned Hibs' highest top-flight points tally last season.

Prior to him, Alan Stubbs led the club to their first Scottish Cup win in 114 years in 2016, and Heckingbottom says the structure at Hibs can help him carry on that success.

They are eighth in the Scottish Premiership, five points outside the top six.

"Two people have been in charge and done really good jobs with the support and within this infrastructure," said Heckingbottom.

"Longer term, it's just to overachieve in terms of budget.

"You've always got to win over the fans. What does that is results, but also can the fans identify with you? Do they believe what you're saying? Do they know you care? Do you know you're trying your best?

"Hibs always stood out to me as a club with a plan. When you think it's a good fit, which I did, I think you've got to go for it."

Top Stories