Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom has insisted that Sean Mackie’s red card at Ibrox this afternoon ‘totally changed the game’ – with his side ending up on the end of a brutal 6-1 thrashing from Rangers.
Jermain Defoe scored a blistering hat-trick, Alfredo Morelos bagged a brace and Sheyi Ojo added the icing to the cake for Steven Gerrard’s side, with Daryl Horgan scoring the only goal for the Hibees.
But Mackie received a second yellow card in the 55th minute, with the score at just 2-1, and Heckingbottom reckons the dismissal had a serious impact on the final 35 minutes of the match.
Speaking via the Edinburgh Evening News after the full-time whistle, a shell-shocked Heckingbottom explained: “You could break it into three parts for me.
“The first, start of the game, for 35 minutes we were second best so that’s what set the tone for the game.
“We got back into it through our goal and could make some changes at half-time.
“We were comfortable then, you were thinking about different things then the sending off totally changes the game.
“That’s not to say we deserved anything out the game but it was in three bits for me.
“We started on the back foot where we were poor and Rangers were good which made it difficult for us. We sort of got through that, good bit of quality for our goal, our first bit of quality. It gives you a chance.
“The start of the second half I was pleased, the sending off made it tough. We didn’t retain the ball well enough and that is where we got punished.
“The shape isn’t the reason we conceded more goals. Us losing the ball in silly areas and us not defending properly is the reason we conceded more goals.
“That’s a ten men thing.
“The first part of it when it was 11 v 11 is the bit where we were second best for long spells, we were a bit too passive.
“I could sit and give Rangers all the credit in the world but I’m more bothered about us an how we approach it.”
Hibs now have two home matches in a row, with Greenock Morton next-up in the Betfred Cup, with St. Johnstone next up in the Premiership.
But what do you think of today’s result, and Heckingbottom’s comments afterwards?
Let us know in the comments section below…