‘A lot of players weren’t good enough’ - ex Hibs boss makes bold claim and insists he needed more time

Lee Johnson breaks Easter Road exit silence after Fleetwood Town appointment.
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Former Hibs manager Lee Johnson has claimed that it was the heavy European schedule to blame for the club’s domestic troubles and believes he should have been given longer at the club.

The 42-year-old was asked to leave Easter Road following a third league defeat from the opening three games which left them at the bottom of the table. Hibs had been led back into Europe by Johnson last season with a fifth placed finish and their qualifying campaign saw a huge clash against Aston Villa follow an impressive display against the Swiss side Luzern.

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However, it was not enough to save Johnson who has since been appointed the new manager of Fleetwood Town, replacing Scott Brown, while Nick Montgomery was recently unveiled as the new Easter Road boss.

Despite his new role, Johnson still had one last word to say on his former employers. When asked by Sky Sports whether he should have been given more time, he replied: “Yes of course I do. I put in a lot of work in the season previous. We took over the team who finished eighth and it was a big job to take that club to fifth. There’s a lot of players who were not good enough in the building.

We had good windows and made good sales. It’s a great club Hibs, fantastic fanbase, really historic and I absolutely loved my time there. I just believe I would have turned it round and I should have had more time.”

Johnson, who won 20 out of 52 games in charge, added: “It came as a shock. What a whirlwind, three weeks ago I was helping guide the team to the best win in Europe in 30 years against Luzern that led to the Aston Villa game which was a big money spinner.

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“I put the league form honestly down to the fact that it was a big ask physically for a squad like Hibs to go Thursday-Sunday-Thursday-Sunday when the SPL side is fresh. It’s difficult. The physical numbers dropped, that’s why I’m disappointed I didn’t get longer in terms of the league season.

But this is football and it sharpens your pencil to realise you can talk development and club philosophy and club stability but you’ve got to win football matches and that’s what I want to do here.”