Captain David Gray admits the Hibs players have been buoyed by Alan Stubbs and his coaching staff extending their contracts with the club until 2017.
The popular head coach and his trusty sidekicks, Andy Holden and John Doolan, had their new deals confirmed on Wednesday. The news came as a welcome boost for a club who started the new season with a 6-2 defeat by Rangers in the Petrofac Cup and have had to block a transfer request from star player Scott Allan.
“It was really positive news,” said right-back Gray. “It’s a real positive statement, and along with the stance they have taken with Scotty, it shows a real sign of our ambitions for the season.
“As a player, you try to just focus on the job in hand and the biggest thing was the disappointment of last Saturday and the manner of the defeat. Our main focus this week has been on trying to put that right and now we’ve had the bonus of the staff signing new deals. It has come at the right time.”
Gray admits Stubbs’ commitment has been particularly welcome among the Hibs players because so many of the squad have recently signed new deals largely because they enjoy working under him.
“He has been great for me,” said Gray, who was Stubbs’ first signing. “He took a chance on me, bringing me back up the road and has played a big part in me doing so well. I’m delighted that he has extended his contract. He was a driving force in a lot of the players from last season wanting to stay, because of the environment he has created. It’s a real enjoyable place to come into work each day, largely because of the staff.”
Gray insists the uncertainty surrounding Allan’s future has had a galvanising effect on the Hibs dressing room. “Listen, Scott is a professional football player so it is in his best interests to work as hard as he can,” said the defender. “He has come in this week and worked hard and that’s all any of us can do. We have to concentrate on the collective, it’s not about individuals, and if anything it is making us more determined to be successful this year.”