Alan Stubbs has paid tribute to the part the quiet man of Easter Road has played in bringing Scottish Cup glory to Hibs.
Although Andy Holden has been head coach Stubbs’ assistant for the past two years, the Welshman has shunned the spotlight and, even as the trophy was paraded through the Capital, he was happy to take a back seat on the open-top bus as it was mobbed by tens of thousands of jubilant fans.
But, Stubbs insisted, the former Everton coach has been an instrumental part of his backroom staff, working alongside first-team coach John Doolan and goalkeeping coach Alan Combe.
The Hibs boss said: “Andy is very much the quiet man but, for me, he has been very important. He was with David Moyes when he was at Everton for 11 years. There were times where David asked Taff what he thought about the team, what he’s gone with and Taff has said ‘I don’t see that’ and David has changed it or the times when Taff has said something and David has said ‘I don’t see that’ and has gone with his own team.
“But that tells you the respect he had for Taff in terms of asking him to work on the team, and it has been the same here.
“The buck stops with me in terms of the team and I will have the final say, but Taff, John and Alan play a huge part in it. It’s just nice to bounce some things off an experienced head.”
Holden’s reluctance to step into the spotlight – the 53-year-old has repeatedly refused requests for an interview – has perhaps given some fans the impression that Stubbs and Doolan are the management team, but the former Celtic and Everton defender insisted nothing could be further from the truth.
He said: “Everyone is different and what Taff has not said in terms of interviews he certainly has an opinion in terms of adding advice to me and my staff. He isn’t afraid, when he does not agree with something I am saying, to jump in.”