Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink gives thoughts on Lee Johnson and Hibs - and reveals Easter Road interest

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has backed Lee Johnson to do well at Hibs – after watching the Easter Road side ease to victory over his Burton Albion team in Portugal.

Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 10:30 pm

The Brewers travelled to the Amendoeira Golf Resort in Alcantarilha to face the Capital club last week as part of their pre-season preparations.

Although Gassan Ahadme fired the League One side in front, Elié Youan equalised before an Elias Melkersen double put Hibs two ahead.

Ciaran Gilligan reduced the lead but Nohan Kenneh’s late deflected effort ensured two wins out of two for the Edinburgh side.

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Speaking afterwards, Hasselbaink said he had been impressed by Hibs.

"They gave my boys a very good challenge. For us, like them, it's all about practice – this is our first game,” he said.

"First half I thought it was quite even. Hibs are a very good team who are trying to get their identity through under Lee Johnson and that identity will be attractive football.

Hibs boss Lee Johnson, left, talks to his Burton Albion counterpart Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in the Algarve. Picture: Craig Foy / SNS Group

"They have some very good players too. For us it was a good challenge."

Hasselbaink has come up against Johnson’s teams in England and sees no reason why the former Sunderland and Bristol City boss can’t enjoy success north of the Border.

"Time will tell, but the history of Hibs is that they always want to play a certain way and be creative. Lee is a manager who likes to play creative football,” the former Dutch internationalist explained.

"He always wants to control the game with the ball and play out from the back. It looked good against us, even though it's a practice game and we were trying certain ideas in the game.

"He's an experienced guy now; he's been at Oldham, Barnsley, Bristol City, and Sunderland so I wouldn't be surprised to see him do well at a big club like Hibs."

Hasselbaink, who turned out for clubs including Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, and Leeds during his playing career, revealed he had been keen on the Hibs job prior to the appointment of Alan Stubbs in summer 2014.

"I've never been approached by any clubs in Scotland but I did apply once for the Hibs job, although I was never interviewed,” he said.

"I was close to coming to play in Scotland once or twice too, but it didn't materialise."