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Heckingbottom happy with early signs at Hibs

Paul Heckingbottom will resist the temptation to change too much too soon after kicking off his Hibernian reign with a 2-0 win over Hamilton.

Florian Kamberi’s deft finish and Marc McNulty’s penalty did the damage before the break but Heckingbottom saw plenty of room for improvement as Accies pushed hard after the interval and Hibs missed chances to finish the game off on the break.

The former Leeds and Barnsley manager restricted his changes to four simple instructions and a flatter midfield shape and he believes he can get much more out of his players.

“There were pleasing things but you can also see things that we really want to improve on,” the new Hibs head coach said.

“A lot of it we are going to have to accept, we are a young side and we have got a naivety to us. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.

“We might make bad decisions, we could have had two or three more goals on the breakaway in the second half, but we have to use that as a positive and embrace that and play with a carefree attitude and a fearlessness that’s going to make us an attacking team and make for entertaining games.

“But we still need to improve. Roles out of possession is the big one for me. Without going into details, there are a hell of a lot of things that I see there that I know we’ll change that will help us going forward.

“My head’s spinning now thinking about it but it’s the wrong thing to do. It’s about building all the time.

“I know football’s not like that but that’s the only way we are going to make them better, for them to get my ideas.

“We’ll add some more bits for the next game, Dundee, and more for the next game after that. That’ll be our approach between now and the end of the season.”

Hamilton lacked imagination in the first half but they made a game of it in the second period with Mickel Miller heavily involved in their best moments.

Playing in a wide midfield role, Miller cut inside and fired just over and later hit the outside of the post after turning Paul Hanlon inside and out.

Accies head coach Brian Rice said: “We started him in a strange position to see if he could get driving because he’s really good on the ball, and he makes us laugh, he makes us smile when he’s on the ball. He lightens up the place, he’s got great ability.

“I want to see him doing it more, I want to see him getting on the ball and getting at people and getting shots and crosses. If he does that it might give the rest of them confidence to do it.

“He’s got a lot in there, it’s about getting it out and getting him enjoying it. I don’t care if they make mistakes, just go and try it and work back when you lose it.”