PAUL HECKINGBOTTOM has claimed some of his Hibs players were “not 100% committed” in the first-half of last night’s 2-2 comeback draw with Livingston.
The Edinburgh men toiled against Gary Holt’s Livi at Easter Road and are still looking for their first Premiership win since their opening-day triumph over St Mirren – a miserable run that stretches 10 games.
They trailed 2-0 before battling back to get a point that lifted the team to an under-performing ninth in the table, just a point above bottom position.
Under-pressure Heckingbottom, speaking to the BBC, said: “We’ll take a point after being 2-0 down, but the question is why did it get to that?
“You’re looking at the first-half display compared to the second, there was more fight, more drive and more desire.
“I’m frustrated because why should it take a tactical change or a bollocking to get people up and running and get them playing the way they should? It should not take that, but that’s where we are.
“People will say we should have more points, but you get what you deserve. I’ll watch the game back and I know in the first-half I’ll see some positives, but I’ll also see players not 100% committed – and the second-half proves that.”
Heckingbottom, however, praised substitute Martin Boyle, whose injury-time strike rescued a point after Scott Allan halved the deficit with a penalty-kick.
Boyle was making his first league appearance of the season following two knee operations in the past 12 months.
The former Leeds united and Barnsley gaffer added: “I wasn’t expecting to use Martin. But he’s trained extremely hard and he’s done lots of one-on-one sessions with myself after training.
“And it’s in those one-to-ones that I’ve seen things that’s made me think that he’s worth 15-20 minutes.
“His personality, his work-rate and his drive to try and impress me.”
Heckingbottom is now preparing his players for the Betfred League Cup semi-final at Hampden on Saturday night against Celtic who have won the trophy for the past three seasons in their historic treble treble era.
The teams drew 1-1 at Easter Road last month when Kristoffer Ajer presented the home outfit with the advantage of an own goal, but Ryan Christie earned the champions a point with a superb header in the first-half.