ALAN STUBBS called for unity among the Hibs support after he and his coaching staff extended their contracts with the club until summer 2017.
It was announced last night that the head coach, assistant Andy Holden, and first-team coach John Doolan, whose original deals were due to expire at the end of this season, have all now pledged their futures to Easter Road for an additional year.
The news comes as a welcome boost for a Hibs support whose pre-season optimism has been severely diluted by the ongoing transfer saga involving their wantaway talisman Scott Allan.
The midfielder, who handed in a transfer request on Tuesday in the wake of interest from Rangers, has been the subject of vitriolic online abuse, with some of his team-mates issuing appeals for calm on social media.
With the Hibs board under pressure from worried supporters to resist the Ibrox club’s advances, it was reported in one newspaper yesterday that Stubbs would quit if Allan was to be sold to his club’s main title rivals.
After confirming his contract extension, however, the head coach has called on everyone involved with the club to unite and ensure Hibs are able to build on the promise that was shown in his first season in charge.
“We made decent progress last year, this season we all know we need to get promoted,” he said. “We need to be as strong as we can to achieve that and, while I know that the board are giving me all the support they can, I also know that if we can get more people coming to games, I’ll be able to do more. This is football, so there will be setbacks along the way. It’s how we react to those setbacks that will eventually determine how successful we are. If we buckle and fight amongst ourselves we will lose. If we stick together, we will win.”
After proving his own commitment to the club, the head coach issued a plea to supporters to turn out and back the club in numbers. He said. “If there is one thing supporters can do to help me, it is to get themselves along to Easter Road to support our team. To put it simply, we need you. I’m grateful to all of those who have supported the team, especially all of those who have put up their hard-earned money – all of that has helped me get players in – but we need more supporters to come back to their club if we are to continue to get stronger.”