Heckingbottom delight as Hibs players get the message
Paul Heckingbottom made a winning start to life in charge of Hibs by beating Hamilton.
Paul Heckingbottom was happy to see his Hibernian players take on some simple messages as they delivered a 2-0 win over Hamilton in his first match in charge.
First-half goals from Florian Kamberi, who claimed the slightest of touches from Daryl Horgan's cross, and Marc McNulty, from the penalty spot, made it a smooth start for the former Barnsley and Leeds manager.
Heckingbottom had two days on the training field with the players after being named as Neil Lennon's successor as head coach on Wednesday night and he kept an unchanged team.
However, there was more emphasis on width and Horgan proved the key man, also setting up Kamberi to hit the bar.
Heckingbottom, who praised a "fantastic" reception from the Hibs fans and welcome from those inside the club, said: "The good thing was I had so long to prepare, the process took a long time so you can get a lot of information yourself and really know what you want to do in a short space of time.
"The best thing we did was try and keep it simple for the players - just focus on two things in possession and two things out of possession which I thought would help us against this team.
"And I think that was the right thing to do because we could have flooded their minds with information and not seen anything we had worked on.
"So it was important the players understood those things and that was the pleasing thing."
Hamilton lacked imagination in the first half but improved after the break, with Mickel Miller influential in their forward play.
However, they lived dangerously on the counter-attack and could not get the breakthrough needed to avert Brian Rice's first defeat in three games as head coach.
However, Rice was happy with his side's response after half-time.
Rice, who made no comment on the penalty decision after Lennard Sowah was penalised for challenging David Gray in the air, said: "I told them at half-time, we're getting beat 2-0, anybody not fancy it, anybody quite happy, just get your clothes on and away you go, because I'm not accepting 2-0.
"I couldn't ask for any more second half, I think you saw that spirit and energy.
"First half I don't there was a lot in the game, three crosses: one goes in the net, one hits the bar and they get a penalty from the other one.
"Our decision-making and final ball was really poor in the first half, something we need to work on."