Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom has claimed that he’s ready to fight the sending off he received against Celtic.
After the Hoops had equalised in a 1-1 draw with his side last month, Heckingbottom then struck the fourth official with a water bottle. It was clearly not meant, but it was reckless and immature from the Hibs gaffer.
Instead of actually apologising too, he immediately went over to another official and started complaining. Heckingbottom’s conduct against Celtic was embarrassing, and question marks now hover over how many games he’ll be given a touchline ban for.
This could also stretch to Hibs’ Betfred Cup semi-final against Celtic too. And, speaking in the Scottish Sun, Heckingbottom stated that he’ll fight the decision.
“There are things that I know I did wrong and didn’t realise what had happened and shouldn’t have done, which were pointed out to me. However, there are other aspects that I will stand my ground on and have a discussion about what happened and what I think was right and wrong.
“I’m not bitter or angry about it. I just want to get it resolved. I’ve seen what they’ve sent back and I’m happy to go through and deal with it.
“I didn’t think I said anything out of the norm — especially when you have had fourth officials swear at you in the past. A lot of it is just part and parcel. I’ll just need to make sure there are no water bottles about!”
You just can’t do what Heckingbottom did
It’s not really the fact he just kicked the water bottle. After all, Lenny had a similar incident back in 2011 when he booted a bundle of them after Inverness had beaten Celtic 3-2. But the fact he sent it in the direction of the assistant referee is a no-no.
Heckingbottom was then in Neil Lennon’s face. He was far too aggressive, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s hit with something for this.
God knows how long Lennon would be banned for if it was him. It’s time for the SFA to come out strong and slam the Hibs manager for his actions.
If he is in the stands for the Betfred Cup semi-final, we shouldn’t get complacent. Hibs seemed to rally after he was sent off at Easter Road last month. We found them difficult to break down, and in the end we failed to get the job done.
Managers being sent to the stand rarely has much of a negative effect. They’re still able to influence the game by communicating down to the bench. There’s nothing overly-damaging about it.
But considering some of the bans Lenny has been dished out in the past, surely Heckingbottom’s ban is going to be put into effect at today’s hearing.