HIBERNIAN fans boss Mike Riley has told chairman Rod Petrie that the appointment of the next Easter Road manager is his final chance to win over weary supporters.
Petrie is understood to be locked in discussions with Inverness manager Terry Butcher as he seeks to name the successor to Pat Fenlon. If the former England captain accepts the Leith post, he will become the club’s ninth manager since 2001.
Fenlon resigned last Friday, just two days after administration-hit Hearts racked up their second shock Edinburgh derby win of the season. But Riley, chairman of the Hibs Supporters Association, claims it is the man at the top with whom the capital club’s faithful are running out of patienc. He said: “The fact we have been through so many managers in the last few years is a big concern to everyone who supports Hibs. The managers can’t all be wrong and somebody has to take responsibility for that. Perhaps we need a director of football.
“I think we’re already at the point where if Petrie doesn’t get it right with Butcher there will be an almighty outcry.”
Riley led the calls for Fenlon to be replaced as boss after the 1-0 League Cup quarter-final defeat by Hearts. But he gave Caley Thistle manager Butcher – who is still to put pen to paper on a deal with Hibs after the Highlanders granted him permission to discuss a move on Tuesday – a cautious welcome.
“Terry Butcher is – alongside Stuart McCall – the leading manager in Scotland right now,” said Riley. “But there is no way of saying for sure if Terry Butcher is the right man or not right now.
“But at least he seems to play an attacking game…and Inverness certainly seem to beat us all the time.”