Hibs next manager: Nick Montgomery has been linked with vacancy - but who is he?
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Following the dismissal of Lee Johnson along with coaching staff Jamie McAllister and Adam Owen, the Capital club’s hierarchy is on the lookout for a 34th permanent manager since the club’s beginnings in 1875. The usual candidates are there – Neil Lennon, who led Hibs back to the top flight, is the current favourite with McBookie and is priced at 4/1 while Kilmarnock boss Derek McInnes is at 5/1. Current first-team coach David Gray, who is taking interim charge of the Easter Road side along with goalkeeping coach Stuart Garden for at least the next two matches against Aston Villa on Thursday night and Aberdeen on Sunday, has odds of 6/1 while St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson is at 7/1.
Ex-Lincoln City, Huddersfield Town, and Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley is next on the list and is priced at 8/1 while Celtic assistant boss John Kennedy is at 10/1 along with Stevenage manager Evans and Central Coast Mariners boss Nick Montgomery.
Who is Montgomery?
While many of the names on the early longlist will be well known to Hibs fans, Montgomery is one who might not. Born in Leeds, he spent time with his hometown club before graduating from Sheffield United’s academy and going on to make 398 senior appearances, scoring 11 goals. During his time at Bramall Lane he was capped by Scotland twice at Under-21 level and once for the Scotland Futures team, playing alongside current Hibs ‘keeper David Marshall in a 1-0 victory over Poland at Rugby Park during the Future Team Cup in December 2005.
A defensive midfielder, he had a loan spell with Millwall towards the end of his time with the Blades, and moved onto the A-League where he made 133 appearances for Central Coast Mariners, winning the league title in 2012/13 (and repeating the feat as manager a decade later).
Montgomery finished his career with two seasons at Wollongong Wolves and returned to Mariners as head of first-team football before serving as assistant to Mike Mulvey and Alen Stajcic, eventually taking the reins himself in July 2021. So far he has taken charge of 60 games, winning 30, drawing 11, and losing 19.
Previous interest from Scotland
The 41-year-old has been hailed for leading the Coasties to the upper echelons of the country’s top flight while working with one of the more modest budgets in the A-League and his work has not gone unnoticed around the world, with Mariners owner Richard Peil predicting that he could one day manage in the Premier League in England.
When Montgomery made the shortlist for the Motherwell job before they appointed Steven Hammell last year, Peil said: “We were pleased by their approach because it shows what Monty and (assistant) Sergio Raimundo are doing here is something special. But I was always going to fight tooth and nail to keep him in Australia.
"I never had any intention of supporting him going to the SPL. He'll coach in the EPL at some point. It's just a matter of time. I'm sure this will be the first of many approaches for him over the next few years.”