Everton boss Roberto Martinez believes Alan Stubbs deserves the chance to become the latest boss of Hibs as reward for guiding the likes of England’s Ross Barkley to stardom.
Former Toffees defender Stubbs enjoyed an outstanding career as the Goodison Park outfit’s Under-21 coach, steering the side to the Professional Development League semis in 2012/13 and playing a key role in the development of Barkley and fellow first-team players John Stones and Luke Garbutt.
That work was recognised when he was among those interviewed by chairman Bill Kenwright for the Everton job itself following David Moyes’ departure last summer, only for the 42-year-old to be pipped by ex-Swansea and Wigan boss Martinez.
Nevertheless, Stubbs made no secret of his desire to become a manager in his own right and today Martinez claimed the revelation the former Bolton, Celtic and Sunderland player had been appointed head coach at Easter Road was well deserved.
The Spaniard said: “We wish Alan the very best of luck. The reality is when you work well and do things well, people will take notice. It reflects the excellent work done last season at the club and means it has been seen from the outside as well.
“We’re proud when those individuals that are Everton through and through get noticed and are given rewards and opportunities.”
As Hibs’ seventh boss in eight years, Stubbs faces a tough challenge at the newly-relegated club, an immediate return to the Premiership being the target.
In his first full day as Hibs’ head coach on a rolling one-year contract, the big Scouser insisted he relishes the battles which lie ahead, saying: “To be given this opportunity with Hibernian is a great privilege and a real honour. It is a massive club with huge potential.
“I’m excited about the future here at Hibernian and what we can all achieve together at the club. This is the start of the journey. The Scottish Championship will be a tough division, but I’m confident that if we approach the challenge with enthusiasm, optimism and belief then we can achieve success.”
Chief executive Leeann Dempster whittled down a list of more than 40 applicants before settling on Stubbs and believes she has found the man who can unite a club devastated by an unexpected relegation, one which has prompted a vociferous campaign to oust chairman Rod Petrie.
Dempster said: “There were strong candidates who applied for the position but after much consideration, Alan emerged as the stand-out choice. He is a driven, intelligent and strong-minded character, who has a very clear vision about what he wants to achieve in football – producing positive results, playing attractive football and developing young players.
“All those attributes fitted the criterion we required and we’re confident Alan is the right man to unite the club and bring success to Hibernian.”
Stubbs’ first match will be Hibs’ pre-season friendly at Berwick Rangers on Saturday, July 12 (3pm).