Hibernian have joined city rivals Hearts in the search for a new manager after sacking Paul Heckingbottom.
The 42-year-old was dismissed, along with his assistant, Robbie Stockdale, yesterday afternoon after less than nine months in the role.
Hibs’ decision to part company with Heckingbottom came only four days after Hearts dismissed Craig Levein as manager. Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson and former St Mirren and Sunderland boss Jack Ross, already linked with the Tynecastle vacancy, have now also been installed among the early favourites to replace Heckingbottom at Easter Road.
Word of Heckingbottom’s exit, which had been demanded by an increasing number of Hibs fans in recent weeks, emerged early yesterday afternoon.
But it was not until 6pm that Hibs finally confirmed the news in a terse 61-word statement which offered no reason for the decision or provided any input from either chief executive Leeann Dempster or club owner Ron Gordon, pictured.
“Hibernian FC today announced that head coach Paul Heckingbottom and his assistant coach, Robbie Stockdale, have been relieved of their duties at the club,” read the statement.
“Head of player development Eddie May will take charge of the team on an interim basis – supported by assistant coach Grant Murray and Steven Whittaker.
“Supporters can expect further comment from the club in the coming days.”
May was previously in interim charge of Hibs following the departure of Neil Lennon as manager in January, overseeing four games before former Barnsley and Leeds United boss Heckingbottom was given the job.
Heckingbottom was handed a three-and-a-half-year contract when he was appointed on 13 February after Hibs’ initial target, former Blackburn Rovers boss Michael Appleton, withdrew himself from the running. Hibs were eighth