Pat FENLON may have become Hibs’ fifth manager in just four years, the revolving door at Easter Road kept spinning as the Irishman followed in the footsteps of John Collins, Mixu Paatelainen, John Hughes and Colin Calderwood.
But while he and his team-mates have spent the last few days getting to know their new boss, Scotland Under-21 striker Leigh Griffiths has taken the latest upheaval in his stride.
For, incredibly, 42-year-old Fenlon is the sixth manager the on-loan Wolves star will have played for in little more than 12 months.
Gordon Chisholm was his boss at Dens Park but was made redundant when Dundee slipped into administration for a second time, his place taken by Barry Smith. This year was barely under way when Griffiths swapped Tayside for the English Midlands, snapped up by Wolves manager Mick McCarthy in a £150,000 deal.
But after only one game for the Molineux outfit, Hibs-daft Griffiths returned north, realising his boyhood dream of pulling on a green and white shirt as he was persuaded to sign a short-term deal by Colin Calderwood.
Less than three months later, however, Calderwood was gone, sacked with a dismal record of just 12 wins in 49 matches which left Hibs hovering above the relegation danger zone and in the hands of caretaker boss Billy Brown.
However, as he prepared to play his first match under Fenlon – tonight’s SPL clash with Motherwell at Fir Park – Griffiths insisted yet another change at the top won’t affect him in any way.
While admitting he’d endured a “mad” few months in regard to managers, Edinburgh-born Griffiths said: “I just try to get on with my job and trying to impress the new manager in training.
“Under Colin Calderwood I worked hard, got myself into the squad, onto the bench and then minutes on the pitch, it’s a new era for everyone, a fresh start but I will be giving it 100 per cent.
“Hopefully that will be enough to persuade the manager to pick me, if he doesn’t I’ll wish the lads who do play all the best.”
Griffiths, though, finds himself in a slightly different position than the rest of the squad Fenlon has inherited in that his loan agreement runs out early in January with his future thereafter uncertain, although McCarthy revealed in the wake of Calderwood’s departure that the ex-Hibs boss had already made tentative moves to keep the player in the Capital on a permanent basis. That came as news to Griffiths but, again, he insisted he remains open to staying on at Easter Road although, obviously, Fenlon will have his own view on the situation, while McCarthy will have the final say.
Griffiths, however, is determined to do all he can to sway Fenlon, saying: “As things stand, I am here for another five weeks. The new manager will have his own idea of how he wants to go about things. He’ll have seen all the DVDs and how we play, but I’ll be out to impress and if he wants me to stay and things can be sorted out then I’d be delighted.
“As far as I am concerned I am in exactly the same position as any other player, I have to push my way into the new manager’s thoughts and plans.”
In the meantime the former Livingston kid will push any thoughts of the clock running down to the back of his mind, determined that if he is recalled by Wolves that he won’t be leaving Hibs in the precarious situation they currently find themselves in.
He said: “It’s quite simple, we have to stop conceding so many goals and start winning games.”
Easier said than done, but Griffiths insisted that despite the poor sequence of results Hibs have suffered – just three wins in 16 SPL matches – they have shown glimpses of their true potential.
One such performance, he claimed, came on Hibs last visit to Fir Park when they won a dramatic penalty shot-out to knock Motherwell out of the Scottish Communities Cup after a 2-2 draw.
He said: “I thought we gave a great account of ourselves that night and should have had it won in regulation time and again in extra-time without having to resort to penalties. But we did win and justice was done.
“They gave us a bit of a doing in the first half when they came to Easter Road although we came into it in the second and Danny Galbraith might have equalised and again last week against St Johnstone we played well for the first 30 minutes.
“Then a lapse in concentration gives them an equaliser and everyone thinks ‘here we go again’. The goal right on half-time was a real blow but even so we were still in the game and were saying to keep it tight for the first ten or 15 minutes.
“But, just as we had done in the League Cup game with Celtic, we conceded within a minute-and-a-half.
“When those sort of things happen people start to speak negatively but we went to Parkhead after losing 4-1 in the Cup and drew 0-0 when no-one gave us a hope in hell.
“If we can put in a performance like that more often then we’ll pick up more points than people might think.”
In saying as much, Griffiths made it clear he wasn’t under-estimating the task facing Fenlon in his first match in charge of Hibs, Stuart McCall’s side sitting well clear in third place while Fir Park represents a tough venue at any time,
He said: “People say they’ve been something of a surprise package but they’ve been moving on each season. Stuart McCall has done a marvellous job but it’s up to us to go there, try to impose ourselves on the game and take the points.” And Griffiths insisted the novelty of Friday night football shouldn’t be a factor. He said: “It’s a bit unusual but we are well used to playing on Tuesday or Wednesday nights so we should be looking at this as just another 90 minutes of football.”