The caretaker boss reported nothing but sleepless nights after Jack Ross was sacked earlier in the campaign and the rookie coach was given interim responsibility for the first team. But several months down the line, the club legend is more at ease as he reprises that role following Shaun Maloney’s departure.
“I’m definitely more comfortable,” said the former club captain. “Learning for four months under Shaun has probably helped me in this situation and the more responsibility I was getting under Shaun was fantastic for me, personally. I feel more relaxed and comfortable with the situation now.”
Victory over St Mirren last weekend saw the bookies shorten the odds on him being given the gig full-time but since then Roy Keane and Phillip Cocu have commanded the headlines.
“I’m sure everyone will read the papers and have their own opinions on it,” Gray admitted. “But it’s not something that’s been floating around the training ground.
“It’s speculation but training has been good after the win. It’s important to keep that going until the end of the season.
“[Keane] is a very experienced manager. It’s entirely up to the club which direction they want to go in. But in terms of what he has achieved in the game, it’s very high.
“I think Hibs mean business – the job itself is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who gets it. And I’m sure there will be many big names linked with it going forward.”
For now, his role is simply to hand over the team, who face Livingston today, in the best shape possible, with a few wins under their belt and some positive momentum.
“That was the message when we came in – five wins would be ideal. It’s not easy to do in this league, especially against teams fighting for their lives.
“That’s the challenge we’ve set, accumulate as many points as we can and try to finish seventh.”