Michael Weir: We need a man who’s been there and ‘bought the T-shirt’

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It was disappointing to hear that the club is beginning the new week with the responsibility of identifying a new manager after relieving Colin Calderwood of his duties.

It is concerning that we are chopping and changing the manager’s role at such a rate and we must find some stability as soon as possible. Notwithstanding, I would like to wish Colin all the best for the future.

With our current situation, I think it would prove an extremely risky manoeuvre by the club to appoint a manager in the early stages of their coaching career. We can’t afford to slip any further down the league and perhaps require someone who has the credentials of a figure who has ‘been there, done it and bought the T-shirt’.

Isn’t it ironic on the 20th anniversary of our Skol Cup victory over Saturday’s opponents that we turned in a really disappointing performance and lost to a goal conceded after only three minutes. Having had a great day with some of my former team-mates who I had the pleasure of playing with for a number of years, it was a disappointing conclusion with the current team surrendering another precious three points.

In my column last week, I referred to the home fixtures against Dunfermline and Kilmarnock as ‘must win’ and unfortunately we have come up short at the first phase. Victory for Inverness at Rugby Park has once again closed the gap at the bottom to one point which puts us in an extremely precarious position. If only I could find some explanation as to why we have failed to put two or three decent results together then it would help me make some kind of allowance for our poor run. We have had numerous chances to take full advantage of the fixtures we have faced recently, yet the team has so far failed to produce a performance that can convince me that we are on the right track.

We have tried numerous formations and changed the personnel within the team in pursuit of trying to find a level of consistency which can push us up the table, but this has proved largely ineffective. Make no mistake, we are now under severe pressure to add some points on the board between now and December as this is when I feel the league really begins to take shape. The balance of the team doesn’t look functional and to play a 4-3-1-2 formation at home with very little width is going to restrict attacking options. Although the link-up play of the strikers was poor, there was never a level of continuity between midfield and attack which made way for an unproductive day in the final third of the field. This will hopefully change when a new manager is appointed.

I felt Dunfermline got it tactically spot on, playing a defensive three with the security of an additional defender, even if Griffiths or O’Connor managed to evade the first tackle.

Right from kick-off the Pars were prepared to knuckle down and take the opportunity when it arrived. Hibs, on the other hand, were a stark contrast and seem to possess the mentality that they only have to make an appearance in a green and white shirt to gain points. No player or club has the divine right to win football matches where you need to show your worth to the cause and not take things for granted.

I have my doubts as to whether we have a strong enough squad to make so many personnel changes. However, it would be fair to say that the majority of the squad have had a chance to impress from the beginning of the season and haven’t really grasped the opportunity.

Now that Calderwood has left, they’ll get the opportunity to start afresh with a new boss.

These are worrying times as the supporters are now starting to vote with their feet, and a sure sign that their belief in the club is beginning to descend. It is fantastic that we are blessed with such luxurious facilities with the stadium and training complex but the most important aspect is putting a good team on the park. With the current economic restrictions, supporters are now starting to pick and choose their games. For a League Cup quarter-final tie against Celtic only managing to reel in little more than 10,000 is extremely concerning and this will only continue if the side fail to overturn our current form.

All hail the fabulous Fergie

I WOULD like to congratulate the great Sir Alex Ferguson on an astonishing achievement of 25 years as manager of Manchester United. On a recent trip down to Old Trafford with some former Hibs players, he was an absolute gentleman and could not have been more accommodating despite his tight schedule. His management skills are simple but effective and this was obvious at one of his training sessions. His advice to me as a young coach was “the game is about players, son, and not tactics” – who am I to disagree with the great man?