Hibernian have 'nothing to lose' against Celtic in League Cup, says Paul Heckingbottom
Last Updated: 01/11/19 5:18pm
Hibernian will have "nothing to lose" when they face Celtic in the last four of the Scottish League Cup, according to their head coach Paul Heckingbottom, despite his side not winning a game since September.
The Yorkshireman faced calls to be sacked on Wednesday after his side registered a sixth consecutive draw, a 2-2 comeback against Livingston.
Hibs are still yet to win in the league since the opening day of the campaign, and their 5-4 penalty shootout triumph in the quarter-finals of the League Cup after a 0-0 draw in normal time against Kilmarnock on September 25, was their last victory in all competitions.
"A cup competition can be a nice distraction. What have we got to lose on Saturday? Go out there and give your best because the prize is certainly bigger than what you have got to lose," Heckingbottom said.
"It's everything we have been playing for. It was one of the targets at the start of the season, we wanted to do really well in the cups.
"It's a big, big opportunity to get to a domestic cup final. As a player, I never got to one of those. It doesn't come round very often and you have to make the most of it, and you have to be the one to fight and make it happen. It's a big, big prize.
"It was one of the reasons I came up here. Looking at where I came from and jobs you can take down there, it was probably going to be very similar, the prize was probably going to be chasing promotion or stave off relegation.
"It was going to be less of an opportunity to compete for a domestic cup and chase for a European place. So it was one of the big, big reasons I came up."
Heckingbottom is looking for a catalyst with Hibernian after their inconsistent start to the campaign.
The 42-year-old witnessed a run to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final save Lee Johnson when he was on the coaching staff at Barnsley.
Johnson left for Bristol City before Heckingbottom took over and led the Tykes to the silverware and then promotion while he was still their caretaker manager.
He added: "I came into the job in the new year but a cup run kept that particular manager in a job the beginning of the year, it kept the season alive.
"In November/December the club were bottom of League One. We ended up winning a final at Wembley and getting promoted at Wembley in the same season.
"So I know what can be done. I look where we are now and we are nowhere near that situation and playing far better than that team were.
"That's why there is no panic from my point of view but I also know and respect it's all about results, it's all about wins."