Heckingbottom calls for ruthlessness after cup opener

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Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom wants his side to take their chances (Ian Rutherford/PA)

Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom cursed his side’s profligacy in front of goal after they needed a penalty shoot-out to defeat Stirling Albion in their opening Betfred Cup tie.

The Easter Road side missed a number of chances after going in front through Scott Allan’s penalty late in the first half and paid for that when David Wilson drew the League Two side level in the second period.

Hibs eventually claimed the bonus point by winning the shoot-out 5-4, but Heckingbottom knew his players would need to be sharper in future matches.

He said: “We made it really difficult. The two things that stand out for me are missing chances and the dirty side of the game — the tackles and picking up runners.

“It thought it would be tough. We are going to have to earn every point we get. Every game away from home in the cup is tough.

“It shouldn’t have been difficult because we created chances we should be putting away. We scored goals in our three build-up matches but we also missed a hell of a lot of chances. We’re pleased we’re creating them but we have to be clinical.

“If you miss chances, you’ll find it hard and you have to compete in the ugly side of the game.”

Stirling manager Kevin Rutkiewicz felt the decision to award a penalty under new handball laws would cause a lot of controversy in the season ahead.

He said: “They’re asking people to defend with their hands behind their backs which is unrealistic. I could encourage my players in the box to flick it up and win a penalty. Maybe not in League Two, but the higher you go with technically gifted players who are mentally astute, they’ll do that.”

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