Next Hibs manager: Board to take its time, new boss likely to be experienced, no candidate lined up, Malky Mackay stand-out domestic candidate

Hibs will take their time to appoint a new manager after dispensing with Shaun Maloney just 120 days after hiring him.

The 39-year-old was sacked on Tuesday morning following an emergency board meeting on Monday night in the wake of not reaching the top six of the cinch Premiership and a Scottish Cup semi-final exit at the hands of city rivals Hearts.

Maloney had only won three of his 15 league matches in charge and the team’s alarming form, plus only scoring five goals in their past ten league matches, convinced the Hibs hierarchy that the former Celtic and Scotland forward was not the long-term answer for the club despite reaching the last four of the Scottish Cup. Assistant Gary Caldwell and coach Valerio Zuddas have also departed Easter Road.

David Gray and Eddie May, who were put in caretaker charge of Hibs in December when Jack Ross was axed, will again resume temporary first-team duties. The duo have been told to take the team for Hibs’ final five league matches, starting this Saturday against St Mirren in Paisley.

Ross County manager Malky Mackay has had a fine season in Dingwall.

That will allow the board, led by US-based owner Ron Gordon, to find the right candidate in time for the start of the 2022-23 campaign. The Scotsman understands that having hired an untried manager in Maloney back in December, Hibs are looking for an experienced boss with plenty of games under their belt. While the net will be cast far and wide to find the next manager and no person is already lined up, Ross County’s Malky Mackay – who has led the Dingwall outfit into the top six – is the stand-out domestic candidate and is on Hibs’ radar.

Former midfielders Scott Brown and Kevin Thomson, Celtic assistant boss John Kennedy and Livingston manager David Martindale are the principal names in the bookmakers’ markets.

Gordon will address the media on Wednesday afternoon but in a brief statement on the club’s website, he said: “Our hope in appointing Shaun Maloney as a young, highly regarded coach was that he would help us take the club forward, but ultimately it didn't work out.

“We thank Shaun and his coaching staff for all their hard work and efforts and wish them all the best for the future.”

Shaun Maloney said his goodbyes at Hibs' training centre today after being relieved of his duties.

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