Hibs boss Shaun Maloney reveals the Kevin De Bruyne method he hopes his players will adopt

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Shaun Maloney has given an insight into his experiences working with Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne – and challenged his Hibs players to follow in the Manchester City star’s footsteps.

The Easter Road boss spent three years with the Red Devils as manager Roberto Martinez’s right-hand man and is keen to introduce a similar culture at Hibs to the one he was part of with the Belgian squad.

In a question and answer session with Hibs season-ticket holders, Maloney was asked about coaching and working with the likes of Romelu Lukaku and De Bruyne.

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"The culture of the Belgium players, and in particular the team, is something I hope comes with our team,” he explained.

Shaun Maloney speaks to midfielder Kevin De Bruyne during a Belgium training session in October 2021Shaun Maloney speaks to midfielder Kevin De Bruyne during a Belgium training session in October 2021
Shaun Maloney speaks to midfielder Kevin De Bruyne during a Belgium training session in October 2021

"You can’t change a culture too quickly, although we’re trying very hard. But what they believe, and I agree with this, is that you don’t earn respect – the Belgium players gave me respect immediately and it was my behaviour that then decided whether or not they continue to respect my work and me as a person.

"This is something I try to impart to every player – Kevin was the hardest-working player in the squad. Very demanding, but in a really good way.

"Whatever I delivered to him as a coach, any information that I gave him or that he wanted had to be at a certain level, and that was really motivating.

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"He outworked any other player and if Kevin can do it, anyone else can. It’s a valuable lesson and it was a joy and privilege to work with him for three years. It really was an amazing experience.”

Maloney also recalled developing his own interest in coaching during his playing career and asking detailed questions about certain sessions in training – something the Belgian players did as well.

"I was always quite inquisitive, it was just the way that I took in information. I always wanted to fully understand why we were playing a certain way, particularly against opponents that were far, far stronger.

"The Belgium players constantly asked questions on drills – ‘why is this relevant to the next opponent’, things like that,” he continued.

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"All they wanted was information on how to beat the next opponent, and as long they knew we genuinely cared about them as people and players, they gave absolutely everything.”

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