Keith Wright believes Hibs are spoiled for choice as they search for a new head coach.
The former Easter Road striker is disappointed by the departure of Scottish Cup-winning boss Alan Stubbs, who was last night confirmed as the new Rotherham United manager. However, Wright is heartened by the calibre of potential candidates being linked with the job. Former Hibs manager John Hughes remains the bookmakers’ favourite for the vacancy, but Scotland Under-19s coach Scot Gemmill and ex-Celtic manager Neil Lennon last night shot up the betting, with the former intimating that he would be interested in talking to the club after recently being sacked by Bolton Wanderers. The Evening News has learned that former Leeds United and Rotherham manager Neil Redfearn, who was a recent contender for the Kilmarnock job, is also keen on the position and would be open to moving up to Scotland.
Hibs are playing their cards close to their chest, but other out-of-work managers who have been linked with the position include Stuart McCall, Malky Mackay, Steve Evans, Billy Davies and Steve Clarke.
Wright trusts the Easter Road board to ultimately make the right call once they have assessed all their options.
“If you’re going to lose your manager, now’s probably a good time because there are so many good managers out there looking to get back in the game,” Wright told the Evening News. “There’s a good mixture of names out there between experienced managers and others trying to make a name for themselves. It’s a blow that Alan Stubbs is going but there’s a good two or three weeks for the board to look at all the names and make sure they make the right decision, like they did the last time when they brought Alan in. The board can take their time to go through all the names, speak to the ones they want to speak to and get a feel for them all.”
Wright is intrigued by the idea of Hibs making a left-field appointment, as they did two years ago with Stubbs, who subsequently brought assistants John Doolan and Andy Holden in to work alongside him. Gemmill, the 45-year-old former Scotland internationalist, would fall into this category.
“Alan Stubbs was a big name who brought in two good coaches who he trusted to get the best out of the players,” he said. “I think a similar model would be the way forward for what is a big season coming up. I don’t know who would come under that category but I like the idea of getting another man like Alan, a big-name player who learned his trade as a coach with Everton Under-21s. He had been working with day in, day out, waiting for his chance at a club like Hibs.
“Scot Gemmill has been in a similar position. I know he’s got a good name within the SFA and is a very hard worker. He’s probably waiting to take his chance at a big club job. I like the idea of someone along those lines, a former player who has been learning his trade with the SFA for a few years.”