Hibs' Paul Heckinbottom looks for cup impetus from Celtic semi-final

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Hibs' Paul Heckingbottom: 'You either move to another club or get sacked'
Scottish League Cup, semi-final: Hibernian v Celtic
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Saturday, 2 November Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Sport website

Paul Heckingbottom hopes beating Celtic to reach the Scottish League Cup final could provide a form boost similar to one he experienced at Barnsley.

Hibernian have gone five games without a win as the head coach prepares to lead his side out in the semi-final against the holders on Saturday.

Heckingbottom guided Barnsley to Football League Trophy success before promotion via the play-offs in 2016.

"It kept the previous manager in the job - a cup run," he recalled.

Heckingbottom, who was a coach under Lee Johnson, took over as caretaker ahead of the final against Oxford United after the manager's exit to Bristol City.

"It kept the season alive as, November, December, the club were bottom of League One," the 42-year-old said. "We ended up winning a final at Wembley and then getting promoted at Wembley in the same season.

"So I know what can be done. I look at where we are now and we are nowhere near in that sort of situation and we're actually playing far better than that team was.

"That's why there's no panic from my point of view. Certainly, a cup competition can be a nice distraction."

'Cups are one reason why I came here'

Heckingbottom has recently admitted to feeling the pressure after a poor start to the Scottish Premiership season amid speculation over his future.

Craig Levein was dismissed as manager of Hearts on Thursday ahead of their city rivals' semi-final against Rangers and, while the Englishman had sympathy for his counterpart, he stressed that such consequences are "part and parcel of the job spec".

Heckingbottom thought that reaching the final would be the highlight of his career so far.

"It was one of the reasons I came up here," he said. "Looking at where I've come from and the jobs I could take down there, I would have had less of an opportunity to compete for a domestic cup - as a player, I never played in one - and to try to chase a European place."

Heckingbottom believes his side have "nothing to lose" against a side who have won the last nine domestic trophies, including the last three League Cup finals.

"It takes care of itself this game - a big semi-final," he added. "We know the size of the task in front of us.

"They have been dominating now for years and no-ones managed to beat them - why can't it be us? Why can't we be the first to beat them in a hell of a long time in a cup competition?"

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