Lee Johnson: Hibs confirm appointment of 'outstanding candidate' ex-Hearts player on four-year deal

Hibs have confirmed the appointment of Lee Johnson as their new manager on a four-year deal.

The former Hearts midfielder was the “outstanding candidate” amongst “a number of high-quality managers interested in the role”, according to the club’s owner Ron Gordon.

Johnson will bring in his own backroom staff, which is set to include former Tynecastle Park colleague Jamie McAllister, while David Gray will remain part of the coaching staff.

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“We know that this appointment is vital for the football club, so we really took our time to make sure we got the right person as our new manager,” Gordon said.

“Throughout this process we have been very clear on the type of profile, the style of football, and the experience we want our new manager to have, and that aligned approach enabled us to be incredibly thorough and vigorous during our search.

“There were a number of high-quality managers interested in the role, and we analysed them all thoroughly. The candidates were interviewed in depth by a panel of directors before we unanimously came to the decision that Lee was the outstanding candidate and the perfect fit for us.

“Not only does Lee have great experience in management, but he also has knowledge of the Scottish and English game, will bring a definitive style of positive play to Hibs and has a proven record of success.

“We wanted a manager that would lead on recruitment and have a strong pool of knowledge in that area. He shares similar levels of ambitions for the football club and will instil a winning culture at Hibernian FC.

Lee Johnson is the new Hibs boss. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

“We will support him in the transfer window, so he can put his own stamp on the squad as we look forward to what will hopefully be a really successful 2022/23 campaign.

“We are all looking forward to working with him, and his staff, to bring sustained success to our fantastic football club.”

Johnson has extensive experience in the English lower leagues, managing nearly 450 games across spells at Oldham Athletic, Barnsley, Bristol City and Sunderland.

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In his only full season at Oldham he took them to a higher place than the season previous. He had Barnsley in a strong position in League One before switching to Bristol City who he played nearly 200 times for as a player. He had four full campaigns with the Robins leaving them in a better position than when he took over.

His last managerial gig was at Sunderland but he was unable to steer them into the Championship and was sacked earlier this year following a 6-0 loss to Bolton despite the team sitting third in League One.

Johnson had a short spell at Hearts in 2006. He was one of the 11 signings in January that year but only made five appearances. He would later return to Scotland at the end of his career with a stint at Kilmarnock.

It’s understood McAllister will join him at Easter Road.

The one-time Scotland international had two seasons at Hearts where he was a team-mate of Johnson and would link up again at Bristol City.

McAllister was a goal scorer when Livingston beat Hibs in the CIS Cup in 2004.

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