Hibs urged to give Monty 'one more window' despite Dons humiliation

Hibs manager Nick Montgomery is under fire. Again.Hibs manager Nick Montgomery is under fire. Again.
Hibs manager Nick Montgomery is under fire. Again. | SNS Group
Former Hibs, Celtic and Scotland striker says manager deserves chance

Embattled Hibs boss Nick Montgomery deserves one more transfer window to fix the mess he inherited from a string of short-term predecessors, according to a former club great. But ex-Scotland striker Darren Jackson says he believes Monty was taken aback by the size of challenge he took on at Easter Road – and must get up to speed soon.

In the wake of Saturday’s humiliating 4-0 loss to a struggling Aberdeen team, Montgomery’s position became – again – the top subject for heated discussion among supporters who have suffered through a season of misery and frustration. The Yorkshireman was already under pressure heading into the post-split fixtures, with failure to make the top six leading to a board statement publicly decrying the “unacceptable” performance of the team and warning that “results need to improve.”

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Although Hibs beat St Johnstone away in their first game after the split, the concession of a late winner to Ross County in Dingwall was followed by Saturday’s embarrassment, a performance so disheartening that many fans left long before time, while those who remained until the final whistle made their displeasure known in obvious terms. Wednesday night’s visit of Motherwell and Sunday’s final game of the season, away to already relegated Livingston, have suddenly taken on extra importance in the eyes of many.

Yet former Celtic centre forward Jackson doesn’t believe the Gordon family or billionaire Bournemouth owner Bill Foley, who now holds a 25 per cent stake in the club, will be itching to pull the trigger, insisting: “I don’t think they’ll look upon it like he needs to win these two games to save his job. They can’t keep sacking managers.

“I mean, Shaun Maloney got one transfer window. And that was the January transfer window, which is the hardest one. I’m not saying whether Shaun was right or not right for the job.

“But if you’re going to back a manager, Nick Montgomery went in there, did his process, they did their due diligence on him. And they thought he was the man. Now, you need to possibly give him another transfer window.

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“It’s not good just now, not good at all. And he’ll understand that Hibs not being in the top six isn’t good enough.

“Celtic and Rangers will finish first and second, all the time. I think Hibs and Hearts should always be in the top six, with the size of clubs they are.

“He’ll know now – he’ll know by the reaction of the fans – that it’s not good enough. And he’ll know he has to get recruitment right for next season.

“But I don’t think going and sacking managers all the time is right. Because they’ll have gone through the process, looked at players, decided these are the players we’re going to bring in. If you sack him, you need to go through that process again – and start again.”

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Jackson suggested that Monty, a former Sheffield United stalwart who guided Central Coast Mariners to an A-League title after transitioning from playing to coaching in Australia, had fallen into the same trap as some predecessors by not grasping the significance of the Hibs job immediately, saying: “It is concerning. It’s unacceptable. And Nick Montgomery will know it’s unacceptable.


“But I think sometimes people come up from down south, not really knowing the league, and not really understanding how big Hibs is, a club. So they find it difficult. I’ve been to a few games. And the performances have just not been good enough at all.”