Hibs next manager news as ‘I’m sure he would’ claim made and hint on type of next boss
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Lee Johnson was recently shown the door out of Easter Road following Hibs’ latest defeat to Livingston. The Edinburgh club suffered a 5-0 loss to Aston Villa in the European Conference League play-offs before being dealt yet another blow as they lost 3-2 in the Scottish Premiership at the weekend.
They are now on the hunt for their next manager as former club captain David Gray takes over as caretaker boss once more. Unsurprisingly, there are already several names emerging as favourites to take over the Easter Road job with both a former boss and Scottish Premiership rival manager on the cards.
Luckily for Gray, there is an international break fast approaching which will give the clubs some much needed breathing space as they seek a replacement for Johnson and it will be left to the former defender to lead Hibs against Aston Villa on Thursday before heading up to Aberdeen this weekend.
Kilmarnock’s Derek McInnes has been listed as the current favourite to take the reins while Neil Lennon, who previously managed the side from 2016-19, and St Mirren’s Stephen Robinson are next.
McInnes linked with Hibs
Football Scotland have already reported that Kilmarnock’s McInnes would be ready to take on the role and has already led his side to wins over Rangers and Celtic this season, setting up the possibility for a top-six finish. The former Aberdeen player Willie Miller has said of McInnes: “Derek is a top-quality manager and he’d be a sensible appointment for any club.
“He’s managed at a high level for Aberdeen, where he was very successful, even if he constantly ran into the wall of Celtic’s domination. He’s a very good manager and he’d take the Hibs job, I’m sure he would. They are a huge club and he would relish managing at that level again.”
Miller also commented on the popularity, or lack thereof for Johnson, saying: “Taking into consideration the unpredictability of Lee Johnson’s teams last season and taking that into this season, I wasn’t too surprised at the decision. Even though it’s early in the season for a manager to get the boot, when you start the season with three league defeats you know what’s coming.
“I don’t think the fans ever really took to him. I think he was a hard kind of person to like and I don’t think he ever had the fans on his side. Some of his comments seemed strange at times. It was there all last season and it’s followed into this season. So if you don’t get results, the fans have never taken to you, your team’s unpredictable and you get embarrassing results, then you’ll end up getting the sack.”
The type of manager Hibs could pursue
According to Edinburgh News’s Patrick McPartlin, it’s time the board went back to guaranteed success: “The usual suspects will be linked with the role – Neil Lennon, Derek McInnes, and John Kennedy to name three – but the board needs an appointment who can get results, reinvigorate the fanbase, and inspire the players.
“It won’t necessarily be someone with a prior connection to the club; CEO Ben Kensell said during the director of football search that it would be ‘great if they were connected but… you can very quickly become connected to a club through your passion and will to be a success’.”
McPartlin also mentions Shaun Maloney as an example of Hibs taking a risk, with the thought that bringing Englishman Johnson who had a ‘proven record of success’ would help the club avoid making the same mistakes as last time.