Former Hibs boss identifies who next manager should be - 'you only have to look at the job he has done'

Cup legend backs candidate to bring success to Easter Road

Alan Stubbs knows what it takes to deliver success at Hibs and is convinced that he has identified the next manager who can bring the good times back to Easter Road.

Stubbs guided Hibs to Scottish Cup glory in 2016 to end the club's 114-year wait for the trophy before quitting to join English Championship side Rotherham United that summer.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He has backed the appointment of Malky Mackay as sporting director and urged him to move quickly to appoint Derek McInnes as the new boss of the Edinburgh side.

Former Hibs manager Alan Stubbs lifts the Scottish Cup after a historic win in 2016.Former Hibs manager Alan Stubbs lifts the Scottish Cup after a historic win in 2016.
Former Hibs manager Alan Stubbs lifts the Scottish Cup after a historic win in 2016.

The Kilmarnock gaffer has just been named Scottish Football Writers Association manager of the year after leading the Ayrshire side to a comfortable fourth place in the Premiership.

Stubbs sees him as the perfect replacement for Nick Montgomery, who was sacked last week after failing to mastermind a top-six finish. He also believes the Hibees missed a trick by not offering the job to McInnes previously, but now that his former Celtic team-mate Mackay is pulling the strings, he fully expects the right decision to be made this time around.

Stubbs said: “I'm not surprised Derek McInnes is among the favourites. I don't know if he was interviewed and then overlooked last time round but I thought he would have had a good chance then. But you only have to look at the job he has done at Kilmarnock to see why he would be one of the front-runners. He has done a great job there - he has gone in and progressively improved the playing side. They are now realistically top four contenders.”

Stubbs, who returned to Scottish football for a brief stint in charge of St Mirren in 2018, added: “Hibs have a big summer ahead of them and the appointment of Malky Mackay is important. I know him very well and I think he could do a very good job there.

“But he will need to engage with the fans and will need to get the fans on board. If he wants to take the club forward, he needs buy-in from the fans. I keep an eye out for Hibs results because of my time there, and there is a lot of disillusionment among the Hibs fans at the moment.

“They are not exactly sure of what direction the club is going in and the disillusion in terms of the recruitment. There are big discussions to be had this summer.”

Stubbs reckons the job has come too soon for one-time Hibs hero and Celtic captain Scott Brown, but if not McInnes, then St Mirren gaffer Stephen Robinson could be a good fit for Easter Road.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Scott Brown is trying to find his feet again at Ayr, after what happened at Fleetwood and perhaps gain a bit more experience and get a more settled job right now in order to build his street cred in Scotland in terms of management.

“Stephen Robinson has also done a very good job at St Mirren. He has been there a couple of years and he has improved it, so I would think he would be on the list.”

“From a club size point of view, Hibs is obviously a much bigger club than St Mirren with a much bigger budget and the potential to bring in better quality players.”

Stubbs says the Hibees faithful are crying out for a boss they can relate to and one they can fully unite behind after being short-changed too often in the past.

Speaking to, Stubbs said: “So Malky’s first decision is going to be his biggest decision in terms of trying to find the right manager.

“What Hibs have missed out on and what they need is a manager who can engage with the fans. You only have to look down to England and the likes of Jurgen Klopp and how he engaged with the Liverpool fans.

“I think there's an element of that with Hibs because the fans want a manager they can really get behind and who they can see taking the club forward, and ultimately, they want a manager who can get the team playing really good football.

“The race for third should be up for grabs between Hibs, Aberdeen and Hearts but Hibs seem a good distance away from that right now, as do Aberdeen.”



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.