Hibs next manager: What Nick Montgomery would bring to Easter Road amid 'one of the best' claim
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The 36-year-old summer signing hit his third cinch Premiership goal of the season during Hibs’ 2-0 victory over Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Sunday and speaking afterwards was quizzed about Montgomery’s credentials. Le Fondre came up against Montgomery’s team during his time in the A-League with Sydney FC, and offered a few clues as to what to expect from the 41-year-old should he be appointed the new permanent manager.
"Whenever I have played against him, and I know Monty quite well, I have always scored. So he might speak highly of me but he probably won’t like me too much because I always score against him! He’s always tried to sign me. He’s a good coach and he’s done really well in Australia,” the former Rochdale, Reading, and Rotherham hitman said.
"His teams play attacking football. While he’s been the Mariners coach they have done really well with young players and four or five have been sold from there off the back of last season. He was probably one of the best young coaches in Australia in my time there.”
Montgomery’s success while operating with a budget the fraction of some of Mariners’ divisional rivals also earned plaudits, as did his coaching ability. Le Fondre’s team-mate Lewis Miller, who was brought through the Mariners ranks by Montgomery, has also talked up his man-management skills.
“Yeah, the Mariners are known for having one of the smallest budgets in Australia and he gave a lot of chances to the younger players out there,” Le Fondre continued. “You are seeing the fruits of that with Sammy Silvera going to Middlesbrough, James McGarry at Aberdeen, Garang Kuol, who was here last season at Hearts. There are plenty of players who have gone on thanks to his coaching.”
Hibs supporters, on the whole, want to see attack-minded, free-flowing football and with the board also keen on an appointment who can inspire the fans and deliver success, Montgomery would be a good fit, as Le Fondre explained.
"They were very attacking. They had Jason Cummings, who has been here at Hibs before. They played two up top, with really good wingers, and they were just a really attacking team. Front foot, high pressure,” Le Fondre said.
“The Australian game is a little bit different from the Scottish game, it’s a little bit more transitional than here and they don't really value a point in Australia so it is a bit more cavalier when it gets later in the game. They just throw everyone forward and try to get the win. If they get the win, great, if they lose, so be it. There is no prize in their minds for getting a draw so they are very attacking teams.
"Hibs is a big club so I don't doubt that there will be a lot of interest in the manager’s job. I'm not too sure what CVs are coming in but I'm sure there will be a lot of big interest in the job but we will all have to wait and see what comes out.”