Paul Heckingbottom insists he would "hate" to see Celtic celebrating on Sunday after recalling how he was a reluctant participant in Newcastle United’s party two years ago.

Should Rangers fail to beat Hearts in today’s lunch-time clash at Tynecastle, victory for the Hoops at Easter Road would seal an eighth successive Premiership crown and move Neil Lennon’s team one step closer to a third straight treble.

Hibernian head coach Heckingbottom’s only defeat in an impressive start to his stewardship came against Celtic in last month’s Scottish Cup tie, with the Leith outfit having won six games out of eight in the league - including a memorable Edinburgh derby success on their last outing.

Third place and an automatic Europa League place remains a realistic target for Hibs.

However, Heckingbottom also admits he wants to avoid witnessing another team enjoying themselves at his expense, just like what happened when Newcastle thrashed Barnsley 3-0 on the final day of the campaign to clinch the English Championship title.

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“No-one would like it but me personally I would hate it,” said the former Tykes manager.

“I would be jealous. That’s what you play for, to get in the position they are in.

“We might be able to chase something down ourselves, that’s our goal.

“We had it at Barnsley in the last game of the season at Newcastle. You are a bit part.

“They have earned the right to be in that position, but we are chasing our own things and from our own position we want to do our job for ourselves.

“It’s strange, we’d had a good season but we weren’t playing for anything by that point against Newcastle so you almost feel as if you are making the numbers up.

“It was 3-0, they went two up early on. I’d have walked on myself and given them the trophy just to get off the pitch.”

Hibs are now only six points adrift of third place having reduced that gap from 14 when Heckingbottom first took over and midfielder Stevie Mallan insists there is no reason why they cannot defy the odds to achieve Europa League football.

He said: “Hopefully we can start on a high, we don’t want to lose the game as we want to be in that top three, four.

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“It is going to be tough, a lot of people wrote us off getting the top six and maybe we can shut a few more people up.

“We’re still six points away with five to play and if we do make that top four it’s going to be a momentous task from the full squad.

“Playing against the best teams make it harder but the belief is there with the run we’ve been on just now.”

Mallan, meanwhile, has thrown his weight behind Scot Gemmill for the vacant Scotland post having worked under the 48-year-old for the national team at under-21 level.

Gemmill is thought to be among the candidates after Alex McLeish was sacked on Thursday just two games into the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

Mallan added: “I’ve worked with him on numerous occasions and he knows the game inside out.

“He’s a really good coach and he’s played for a good number of years as well.

“He’s had a lot of really good results against top countries, like beating Holland a few times, which wasn’t expected.

“He’s a lot like the manager here. He’s really in depth, he has a philosophy to play and when I worked with him we did a lot of work on the training pitch.”

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Hibs winger Martin Boyle, meanwhile, yesterday returned to light training after being sidelined since the end of last year with a knee injury but Heckingbottom insisted that the Australia internationalist would not return this season.