Lee Johnson wins race to be new Hibs manager with Jamie McAllister coming in as assistant
Hibs will unveil Lee Johnson as their new manager at 2pm tomorrow, with former Hearts and Livingston left-back Jamie McAllister as his assistant.
The former Sunderland boss is understood to be regarded by owner Ron Gordon as a safer bet than former Malmo manager Jon Dahl Tomasson, whose name had captured the imagination of many supporters.
McAllister, 44, was Johnson’s assistant at Sunderland and will also be his No 2 at Easter Road, with David Gray staying on as a coach.
Johnson and owner Ron Gordon will hold a media conference at 2pm on Thursday. The 40-year-old Englishman impressed the club hierarchy throughout the interview process and is seen as a less risky appointment than Tomasson.
The Dane’s limited knowledge of Scottish and British football, the primary market Hibs will be shopping in for new players, counted against him.
He is also reported to have been demanding a far higher salary and wanted a sporting director brought in to take the lead on recruitment, transfers and contracts.
Johnson, on the other hand, has recruited players from Scotland during his managerial career in England’s lower leagues and is happy to take the lead on recruitment, working within the club’s existing structure.
The Englishman also played in Scotland’s top flight in brief spells at Hearts and Kilmarnock. He was sacked by Sunderland in January and has also managed Bristol City, Barnsley and Oldham.
It is understood club chiefs have also been persuaded that Johnson possess all the attributes required to overhaul the squad, install a winning mentality, play attractive attacking football and ensure that the team are equipped to challenge for European places next season and beyond.
After sacking two managers in the same season and finishing eighth in the Premiership, Gordon also wants stability and believes Johnson is more committed to a long-term project than Tomasson.
While the former AC Milan striker who won over 100 caps for Denmark would have been a more popular choice, the club are confident Johnson won’t take long to win the fans over.
Fans can expect a busy summer of transfer business as the new manager aims to reshape the squad in preparation for the 2022/23 campaign.