David Gray set for talks over Hibs role for Celtic cup final

David Gray is relieved to be passing on a Hibs team that has rediscovered a way to win to the new man in charge at Easter Road.

Hibs caretaker manager David Gray celebrates the 1-0 win over Dundee at full time (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Hibs caretaker manager David Gray celebrates the 1-0 win over Dundee at full time (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

It seems certain that Gray will return to his role as first-team coach ahead of Sunday’s Premier Sports final against Celtic with Shaun Maloney the bookies’ favourite to be installed as Jack Ross’s successor.

Gray saw Hibs record their first home league victory since September after Paul McMullan’s spectacular first-half own goal secured a 1-0 victory over Dundee. It was notable that the caretaker manager then thanked the players for their efforts during his two-game spell in charge to date.

Gray has overseen a 1-1 draw with St Mirren and this much-needed victory - though the latter has come at a potential cost given the proximity of Sunday's final.

Chris Cadden hobbled off in the first half and Kevin Nisbet had to be replaced in the second half. Both injuries seemed to have been sustained in innocuous fashion. Gray is hopeful they are not too serious and are merely the consequence of tiredness after a busy spell for the team.

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The players now have four days to recover. Gray’s own immediate future has yet to be established. He was not sure what his role would be at Hampden on Sunday.

“I am no further forward with that," he said. "My job description before the game was to prepare the team for tonight,” he said. "I will speak to the powers that be and move on from there."

On Cadden and Nisbet, he sounded optimistic while admitting it was still too early to tell. “I am hoping it is more fatigue because they have both put in a shift recently with a lot of games as it has been a congested fixture list,” he said.

“The good news is they walked off the pitch which is always pleasing. We will get them assessed and move on from there.

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“A new manager will be quick to find out they are a great bunch of boys," he added. "I have played with the majority of them and worked with them in a coaching capacity. The togetherness within the group is there for everyone to see and a new manager will be lucky to inherit that.

“I have enjoyed it. It has been challenging too. But the most important thing for me is that we had a job to do which was to get a reaction from the players. I would like to thank the players for their effort and how they have been every single day since Eddie (May) and myself stepped into the role because it wasn’t an easy situation for everyone. They have been fantastic, especially tonight and got what they deserved.”

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