Hibs scout admits 'shock' at Shaun Maloney sacking and makes next manager claim

Former Hibs favourite Kevin Harper has expressed shock over the club’s decision to sack Shaun Maloney after just 19 games in charge.

Maloney was removed from his post following the 2-1 defeat to Hearts in Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden, which came just seven days after another derby defeat at Tynecastle that consigned Hibs to the bottom six.

Harper, now working for the Easter Road club as a scout, said he was taken aback by the decision but understood the motives behind it.

“It was a bit of a shock, if I'm honest,” he told Sky Sports News.

Shaun Maloney pictured during what proved to be his final match in charge of Hibs - the Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Hearts at Hampden on Saturday. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

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“I didn't expect that to happen. I thought he would probably get to the end of the season then reassess it from there, but the owner [Ron Gordon] has decided that after a tough week that Shaun, as he said the experiment, didn't work. He's got every right to make that decision.

“Four months in a job is a real short period of time and he probably deserved a little bit more time but I understand where the owner is coming from. We've been beaten off our local rivals and not made the top six. He's only won one game since the turn of the year, so when you put all those factors into place, I think the owner has decided he can't take that anymore and he wants to have a clean break. But it's a real short time.

“It takes time to change and put your methods across but you also have to remember that football is about winning games, and if you don't win games then the pressure from fans and upstairs comes on top and it probably didn't help getting beat by our city rivals in the cup and to put us in the bottom six.”

Harper tipped the club to move for a manager with pedigree as Maloney’s replacement.

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Former Hibs player Kevin Harper, now a club scout, said Shaun Maloney's sacking came as a "shock". (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

"For me, they will look at an experienced manager, but the club will have their own thoughts on it,” he said.

"I don’t think they'll have a candidate in mind. I think that's why David Gray is in until the end of the season. They’ll take stock and reassess, and try to make sure the next appointment is right in terms of how they want to move the club forward.”

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