Hibs stuck in holding pattern amid manager search latest and Elie Youan transfer decision

There is a lot of work to do at Easter Road – but new boss must come first

Hibs continue to search for their new head coach, almost two weeks on from the sacking of Nick Montgomery as manager.

Caretaker boss David Gray remains the bookmakers’ favourite to land the job on a full-time basis. The 36-year-old, performing his fourth spell in such a position, presided over a 3-0 win over Motherwell and a 1-1 draw at Livingston in Hibs’ final two Premiership matches of the 2023/24 season. The Hibees finished an underwhelming Premiership campaign in eighth place and face a serious summer restoration project. In the same day that Montgomery’s dismissal was announced, Hibs appointed Malky Mackay as sporting director. The former Ross County manager has major part to play in how Hibs progress in the coming weeks.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Alongside chief executive Ben Kensell and the rest of the board, Mackay is working on a list of candidates for the all-important role of head coach. Given that Hibs have axed four managers in the past two-and-a-half years, there is little margin for error with the latest appointment. New shareholders Black Knight, who are spearheaded by American billionaire and Bournemouth chairman Bill Foley, will also have a say on which direction the Easter Road outfit go. However, The Scotsman understands that Gray has impressed in his latest stint as caretaker and is likely to be interviewed alongside other applicants.

David Gray, currently in interim charge of Hibs, is the bookmakers' favourite to land the new manager's job.David Gray, currently in interim charge of Hibs, is the bookmakers' favourite to land the new manager's job.
David Gray, currently in interim charge of Hibs, is the bookmakers' favourite to land the new manager's job.

There is more to do at Hibs than just appoint a manager, though. The succession of change has brought with it a melting pot of players from different regimes. Hibs will cull the senior squad this summer, which currently sits at 28 players. While veteran iconic defenders Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson, plus striker Adam Le Fondre, have officially announced their own departures, there has been no word yet on 38-year-old goalkeeper David Marshall. It is understood that the priority at this stage is to find the new head coach – and then move from there.

Hibs are therefore stuck in a holding pattern. Until a head coach is brought in, only so much work can be done on squad modelling. Players such as Max Boruc, Ewan Henderson, Allan Delferriere, Nohan Kenneh, Dylan Tait, Daniel MacKay and Harry McKirdy spent last season out on loan. Under Montgomery, their futures at Easter Road looked bleak but that could change under a new regime. The club is also sitting on a bid of more than £2 million from an unnamed French outfit for forward Elie Youan. Interest is expected to intensify in the Franco-Ivorian, who statistically was Hibs’ most productive forward last term.

Given the poor performance of the team on the pitch, it won’t just be outgoings at Easter Road. The entrance door will be busy too. After a very successful loan spell, Hibs naturally would like to bring Comorian forward Myziane Maolida back for longer than his previous five-month loan spell, but there are clubs with bigger resources interested in the Hertha Berlin man. All areas of the team require strengthening, with Mackay and whoever is head coach having a decent budget to play with given the £6m investment from Black Knight – although not all of that will go into the transfer pot.

The squad is due back at East Mains towards the end of June ahead of pre-season matches and the Premier Sports Cup group stages, which begin on July 13. Time is therefore marching on to for Hibs to land upon their preferred candidate so yet another rebuild can properly take off.



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