Hibs caretaker manager David Gray explains why he made Joe Newell captain

Interim Hibs boss David Gray says he handed Joe Newell the captain’s armband against St Mirren because the midfielder “deserved the extra responsibility”.

Sunday, 12th December 2021, 8:00 am
Wearing the armband for Hibs, Joe Newell is challenged by St Mirren's Ryan Flynn during the 1-1 cinch Premiership draw at SMISA Stadium
Wearing the armband for Hibs, Joe Newell is challenged by St Mirren's Ryan Flynn during the 1-1 cinch Premiership draw at SMISA Stadium

The 28-year-old Englishman was a somewhat surprise selection to lead out the team in the absence of suspended skipper Paul Hanlon and vice captain Paul McGinn.

Ryan Porteous, Lewis Stevenson and Darren McGregor, all named in the starting XI, may have been more obvious choices to skipper the side in Gray’s first match in temporary charge, but the 33-year-old coach demonstrated that he won’t simply follow the Jack Ross blueprint.

Mixing things up in a bid to get the team back on track, Gray picked Stevenson ahead of Josh Doig and made other tactical tweaks ahead of the 1-1 draw in Paisley.

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The interim boss said his decision overlook Porteous, Stevenson and McGregor for the captaincy was about get more out of Newell.

“It would have been easier to give one of them the armband,” Gray explained. “But I wanted to give Joe the responsibility to squeeze a bit more out of him and show that he can be the leader I know he is.”

He added: “He's an instrumental part of the squad and he's a top player. I thought he deserved the extra responsibility.”

“You know what you're going to get from Lewy and Daz. The two of them were outstanding again.

“You can always rely on them. They've seen it all.

“You know what you're going to get from them because they care about the club.

“They are ultimate professionals and they are always ready to play when asked.”

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