‘I want’ - Nick Montgomery sends brilliant message to Hibs fans
The new Hibs head coach says he’s a “loyal guy” eager to go the distance
New Hibs boss Nick Montgomery insists he’s at Easter Road for the long haul, as the capital club look to bring some much-needed stability to the camp. Montgomery, who led Central Coast Mariners to the 2023 A-League title, has signed a three-year deal.
Aware that Hibs have run through a whole series of gaffers in recent seasons, with Paul Heckingbottom, Jack Ross, Shaun Maloney and Lee Johnson all having come and gone since 2019, Montgomery was relieved to hear chief executive Ben Kensell talk about a new era of stability and long-term planning.
The 41-year-old Yorkshireman, a former Scotland Under-21 internationalist with family from Aberdeenshire, said: “It doesn’t interest me what’s happened the last three or four years. I spent 15 years at one club and 11 at another so I’m a loyal guy.
“I don’t want to jump around - I want to put my roots down and immerse myself in the city, the club, the fans and the community. I want to get everyone behind the club. I’m just really happy to be here.”
Montgomery takes over a Hibs team in flux following the departure of Johnson, although interim boss David Gray – who will stay on in his role as first team coach – did lead them to a 2-0 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie last weekend.
Laying out his ambitions for a team sitting tenth in the Scottish Premiership after four rounds of fixtures, the new boss said: “I would like them to challenge everybody in the league and be competitive.
“I think everybody sees Hibs as one of the biggest clubs in the league but you have to earn the right, you have to compete and you have to win games of football. Identity is a word that can be used quite flippantly but, when fans turn up or you go away from home, you want people to see that the team has an identity.
“A very, very basic part of that is non-negotiable, it’s that the team works hard and, in terms of formation, if you want to be a team that plays attacking football or defensive football then everybody should be able to see that.
“Supporters should feel that’s their team. They should feel that they are going to turn up for games at the weekend and know that it’s not off the cuff, it’s a style of play that is easy for them to identify every week, whether that’s home or away.
“I like creating chances and scoring goals but defensively I like to be resolute. I have defending principles and that has to be part of the way you play because you can’t just be a team that attacks, you have to defend as well. But goals win games so every year, it’s every coach’s idea is to score goals. I did research on the squad. I know some players here and I watched a lot of games. I really believe there’s a lot of quality in the squad.”