Lee Johnson is not threatened by presence of two former EPL managers at Hibs
With former Blackburn gaffer Steve Kean already on the books as academy director, the recent recruitment of former Reading and Leeds United boss Brian McDermott as Director of Football, could be seen to cast a shadow over Johnson.
The manager, who has weathered a couple of testing periods throughout the season but has already guaranteed improvement on last term’s eighth place league finish, sees their vast experience as something to celebrate rather than fear, though. “I don’t see it at all like that,” Johnson said. “There’s enough movement in football, if you like, and again it comes back down to the people. What do they want? As a manager, you just want to be supported until the day you’re not because you move on because of success or failure. It’s as simple as that and I’ve certainly felt that from day one at this club. That is why I joined in the first place.”
And, having a fresh football perspective and different voices around the training centre should, according to Johnson, be seen as an asset. “The boys are lifted because they see there’s somebody else coming in that we can talk to and learn off and pick the brains of,” he continued. “And they know they have to be at it, because we’ve now got continued investment in the recruitment department as well. Therefore they’re going to be challenged as a player.”
Johnson and his team have secured the right to see out the season in the top six, challenging for a European spot and there is a determination to build on that after the summer break. And both Kean and now McDermott can help Johnson with that, as one nurtures the quality coming through the clubs’ ranks and the other helps to identify and pull in fresh talent. “Through our experiences, as managers and players, at clubs who are battling and punching above their weight, hopefully we can pull all that together and be successful,” added Johnson.