Hibs favourite reveals target Monty must hit to save his job

Under pressure - Monty has been told “results need to improve.”Under pressure - Monty has been told “results need to improve.”
Under pressure - Monty has been told “results need to improve.” | SNS Group
Former playmaker takes aim at ‘unrecognisable’ team in bottom six scrap

Hibs fan favourite Scott Allan believes Nick Montgomery has to win at least three out of the remaining five games in order to save his job as manager. And the midfielder says last week’s board statement demanding an upturn in results has heaped pressure not only on the coaching staff – but players facing a barrage of criticism for their efforts this season.

Allan, speaking to BBC Radio Scotland’s Scottish Football Podcast, described Hibs as “unrecognisable” to supporters who want to see players show bravery on the ball. And he said the constant turnover of players AND gaffers had caused inevitable instability at the club.

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The Hibs board, including billionaire Bournemouth owner Bill Foley, announced a review of all football operations last week. In a statement on behalf of the directors, failing to make the Scottish Premiership top six was described as “unacceptable” – and fans were told that “results need to improve.”

Allan believes the board have effectively given Montgomery five games to save his job, starting with Saturday’s trip to McDiarmid Park. Hibs will also face Ross County and Livingston away, either side of back-to-back home games against Aberdeen and Motherwell.

“The home games are key,” said Allan, the playmaker – currently at Irish club Larne – adding: “And maybe pick up a win away from home would probably be enough.

“To win all the games is a tough ask. I’m going to say home wins and one away win, that would maybe be enough to say: ‘Look, we get to the summer and see what the problem has been this season.’ Because there has to be changes, especially on the park.

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“In terms of the statement, probably even more pressure has been put on Nick Montgomery and his coaching staff now. As a player, you are aware they’ve come out and made that statement. It’s an added pressure.

“Of course, the obvious thing is you can’t keep changing the manager. But because there is a lot of change higher up at the club all the time …

“We talk about investment, investment, investment. So with investment, everyone thinks money. If something isn’t going well, can we throw money at it? That’s the sort of thinking people are now associating with Hibs.

“I go back to the players. There has been a hell of a turnover. But the games they’ve had to win, they haven’t won.

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“When a fan turns up, they want to be excited and see a winning team. Nine wins at home, are Hibs fans going to accept that? That’s why there are probably a lot of people on the fence in terms of what should happen.

“We’re not behind the scenes. Nick Montgomery will probably have chats with a big board now, given the guys involved. But those bottom six games are not easy. Especially when you’re not playing at your best.”

Scott Allan shared his opinions on Monty’s future.Scott Allan shared his opinions on Monty’s future.
Scott Allan shared his opinions on Monty’s future.

Allan, who served three tours of duty in green-and-white, hasn’t been impressed by what Hibs are trying to do in games, claiming: “I think, for me watching Hibs, I find them quite unrecognisable in terms of their style of play, and what the fans demand at Hibs. I get the feeling there’s not a connection, at the moment, between the fans and the team.

“That happens when you go through poor results. But leading up to the split, Hibs were in a good place. They just needed to win at home to St Johnstone – Hibs have got to be winning that game. A defeat there leads on to more – and that was the story of Hibs’ season. They don’t just lose one game; it always leads to more problems. Hibs at home against teams lower than them in the division, you have to win them.

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“Hibs have to fight. And being brave doesn’t always mean flying into tackles. It’s taking the ball under pressure, taking the ball in a moment when maybe the fans are on your back, which happens from time to time. They want to see bravery on the ball.

“There are a few loan players there, including from Bournemouth. I think that will be a constant revolving door over the next few years, with maybe younger players coming up through Hibs. But it’s not an easy environment to come into if you’re not doing well.

“We’re now talking about a clear-out again in the summer. This seems to be every summer, every transfer window, now for Hibs. The turnover of players, you’re never going to get success with a team if you have constant turnover.”