LEWIS STEVENSON today said he’d love to see Terry Butcher turn Hibs into a team everyone hates as the Englishman edges closer to becoming the new boss at Easter Road.
The current Inverness Caley boss has been Hibs chairman Rod Petrie’s No. 1 target since the surprise departure of Pat Fenlon eight days ago, with talks having taken place between the pair earlier this week. While Butcher wasn’t expected to be in the away dugout as the two sides met in Edinburgh this afternoon, it is understood Hibs are edging towards a deal to bring him and his management team of Maurice Malpas and Steve Marsella to the Capital.
Admitting the identity of the new manager had been a hot topic of discussion among his team-mates, Stevenson, who is looking to be playing for his seventh boss at the club, revealed former Caley star Owain Tudur Jones has been grilled about Butcher.
He said: “Players do talk about the next manager. It’s the natural thing to do, but you can’t really do anything until the new manger’s in place and you can see what he’s actually like.
“People have been asking Owain about Terry Butcher. There’s been a lot of speculation and I’m sure whoever gets the job will do a good job and be fully behind whoever’s put in place.”
While Tudur Jones has revealed he’s as much in the dark as anyone else as regards Butcher, Stevenson agreed Hibs have always found Caley difficult opposition both home and away, losing their last match in Inverness 3-0 only a few weeks ago.
He said: “Without Jonesy saying anything, we know he’s done a great job at Inverness. We always hate playing against his teams, they’re always well organised, work hard and I think they do play better football than they are given credit for.
“We don’t know someone’s put in place, but people are saying it’s going to be him. It would be good to play for a team that people hate playing against. Easter Road has been a place in the last few years where teams enjoy playing against us. So it would be nice if it was a place where teams don’t like playing.
“We’ve got everything in place, a great stadium, the fan-base, the training ground. Everything is there, it’s maybe just the team that people are saying is not in place. Hopefully we can change that, but I do feel we’ve got a good enough squad to be competing higher up. We just need to go out and do it.”
And Stevenson, Hibs longest serving player, admitted he hopes Butcher hangs around longer than most of his previous managers. Handed his debut by Tony Mowbray in 2005, Stevenson has also played under John Collins, Mixu Paatelainen, John Hughes, Colin Calderwood and Pat Fenlon.
He said: “I hope the next manager is for the long term, but I’ve been saying that for the last few managers we’ve had.
“It’s basically up to the players and the results as well. We can’t talk about it being for the long haul if we’re not getting the results on a Saturday. If we do get good results, then the manager will stay in place for a long time.”