‘Hibs are probably the club you’d want to play for’ - Rangers coach praises Paul Heckingbottom’s impact

Paul Heckingbottom speaks to his players at Hibs' East Mains training centre. Picture: SNS Group
Paul Heckingbottom speaks to his players at Hibs' East Mains training centre. Picture: SNS Group
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Rangers coach Michael Beale has praised the impact Paul Heckingbottom and Robbie Stockdale have had on Hibs since arriving at the club.

The Light Blues’ 1-0 victory over the Easter Road side at Ibrox yesterday brought a halt to the Hibees’ unbeaten league run under Heckingbottom, as well as ending the Capital club’s faint hopes of European football next term.

Michael Beale (left) with Steven Gerrard. Picture: SNS Group

Michael Beale (left) with Steven Gerrard. Picture: SNS Group

But first-team coach Beale, who joined the Gers from Liverpool shortly after Steven Gerrard took the reins, told Rangers TV that he’s been impressed by Hibs since arriving in Scotland.

He said: “With the previous manager [Neil Lennon] you were unsure [what to expect] - they chopped and changed a little a bit.

“Teams play in the personality of their manager or staff and Hibs were unpredictable before,” Beale said.

“With Heckingbottom, he’s got them really organised - they look like a really happy group. There was a part of this season when it wasn’t a settled group.

“The players look like they’re fighting for their futures - I’m sure that’s what they’re telling them.”

Beale had spells as assistant manager at Sao Paulo in Brazil and Chelsea, as well as his long-term involvement with the Liverpool academy, culminating in managing the Under-23 team prior to his departure for Glasgow.

“The two coaches they’ve got, Heckingbottom and Stockdale - I know them as Under-23 coaches, they’re from development backgrounds like myself,” he explained.

“Hibs look like a good club to be playing for at this moment in time. Outwith the big two [Celtic and Rangers], it’s probably the club you’d want to play for.”