Former Leeds United manager Paul Heckingbottom takes up Hibernian role

Former Leeds United head coach Paul Heckingbottom joins Hibernian.
Former Leeds United head coach Paul Heckingbottom joins Hibernian.
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Hibernian have appointed former Barnsley and Leeds boss Paul Heckingbottom as their new head coach.

Heckingbottom has agreed a three-and-a-half year contract and will be assisted by former Scotland international Robbie Stockdale.

Former Blackburn manager Michael Appleton had been hotly tipped to take over earlier in the week but contract talks reportedly stalled and Heckingbottom has been handed the role.

The 41-year-old led Barnsley to a Football League Trophy triumph and promotion to the Sky Bet Championship in 2016 during a spell in caretaker charge and consolidated their position in England's second tier after getting the job on a full-time basis.

He left for Leeds last season but lasted only four months before being replaced by Marcelo Bielsa in the summer.

Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster said in a statement: "Paul made a really positive impression on us from our first meeting with him.

"His work at Barnsley speaks for itself, where he was able to combine the kind of dynamic, attacking football our own fans appreciate with the development of some talented young players.

"With the structure we already have in place, Paul is the right person to embrace that support and take it to a new level.

Heckingbottom will be assisted by former Scotland international Robbie Stockdale.

He said: "It's an honour to be named head coach of Hibernian Football Club - a club with a rich history and commitment to playing attacking football.

"There is so much potential here and the club has everything going for it.

"I'm looking forward to getting to work and meeting the players and staff on Thursday, before stepping up preparations for Saturday's game against Hamilton.

"I will give everything I have to be a success here. Supporters can be assured of that."

Hibs sit in eighth place in the Ladbrokes Premiership and have a William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final against Celtic to look forward to.