Rowan Vine insists Hibs would not have been relegated under Pat Fenlon’s charge.
The Irishman was replaced as manager by Terry Butcher in November with the Easter Road side in mid-table, but they ended up second bottom and lost a play-off to Hamilton.
“With the quality in that squad, I would have been very, very surprised if Hibs had been anywhere near relegation if Pat had still been the manager,” said Vine, who left in January after falling out of favour under Butcher.
“You only have to look at Pat’s record the whole time he was at Hibs and he certainly didn’t have relegation percentages. He was manager for a few very bad standout results, which, in the pressures of modern football, can put you under scrutiny, but you look at Pat’s record going all the way back to his time in Ireland and he’s clearly not a manager who struggles.”
Vine felt there was a costly breakdown in relationship between Butcher and some of his players. “If you get things right between the playing staff and the coaching staff, there’s no way that team should have been anywhere near relegation,” he said.