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Heckingbottom keen for Hibernian players to step up and take responsibility

Hibernian head coach Paul Heckingbottom has put the onus on his players to solve their woes after their derby defeat.

And he was encouraged to his squad take responsibility and open up after they lost a lead to go down 2-1 against Hearts on Sunday.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s Betfred Cup quarter-final at Kilmarnock, Heckingbottom said: “A little change of approach I suppose from me with the players, in terms of me leading and doing a debrief as I was, I’m trying to get the players to take a bit more ownership, responsibility and step up.

“So we just prepared something for them to see, discussion points good and bad, but wanted them to lead on it.

“There were probably only 10 minutes of clips but we ended up being together well over an hour.

“I think that’s really important because we want to encourage that amongst them, in terms of them being together, bedding in and taking responsibility.

“It’s something we are going to have to really push and get really aggressive with in terms of what we expect, not just performance but in terms of behaviour as well.

“I let them lead on it and then I spoke to them about the tiniest details that frustrate me. It’s pleasing that they understand.

“If you take the lead all the time and you’re forever holding hands and talking people through things, walking people through things, I might be part of the problem for not letting them take enough ownership and responsibility.

“It was important for me to come away and see what they get out of it, who is speaking up, are they speaking about the correct things?

“The clips were picked on purpose so I could get feedback on what they are seeing in a game. They understand my frustrations big time so it’s up to us now to put things right.

“There’s been games where much more has gone wrong than that but we were punished for little details – letting them take quick free-kicks and short corners. Those little lapses are really costing us.”

About two dozen Hibs fans protested outside Easter Road following Sunday’s defeat but Heckingbottom has not had any special talks with the club hierarchy.

“We speak all the time, it’s not a case of good results, bad results,” he said. “We speak all the time and that’s one of the strengths of this club.

“We always know where we are, we always know what we are trying to do, and that’s not been any different.”

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