Paul Heckingbottom slammed Hibernian’s dismal first-half showing against Livingston despite watching his side rescue a 2-2 Ladbrokes Premiership draw.
Livi raced into a two-goal lead courtesy of strikes from Steven Lawless and Craig Sibbald on the cusp of half-time, with the hosts leaving the field to a cacophony of jeers at the interval.
Heckingbottom admits he lost his cool with his underperforming players at the break – and was rewarded with a response in the second period.
Scott Allan halved arrears from the penalty spot after he had been fouled by ex-Hibee Marvin Bartley and Martin Boyle – climbing off the bench after four months sidelined with a knee injury – levelled in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
“It shouldn’t take tactical changes and b******ings to get people running about,” said an irked Heckingbottom. “There have been a few of those this season.
“All people want to see is drive and determination. That’s all the fans want. It shouldn’t need people to drag it out of you.
“But there was a spirit in the second half, a determination and fight. There were runs, tackles – people fully committed.”
However, there were still murmurs of discontent at full-time, with Hibs still winless in the league since the opening day of the season – and the club’s American-based owner Ron Gordon was in attendance.
“We (Gordon and Heckingbottom) met on Tuesday and went out for dinner,” said the Hibs boss.
“It was good to spend time on our own, quite informal.
“He’s been great but let’s not kid ourselves, football is about results. Anyone who thinks different is deluded.
“But we get on great, have similar ideas and both want to be successful.”
While a point at Easter Road would ordinarily be a cause for celebration, Livi boss Gary Holt was left to rue the late lapse which cost his side a laudable triumph.
“I always hammer home to players that, until ref blows the final whistle, it’s not done,” added Holt. “We need to see it out and be more professional.
“It’s a sore ones to take. People will say it’s a good point away from home but it’s not. It’s two dropped.”