Shaun Maloney breaks silence on Hibs sacking as he makes 'given time' claim

Sacked Hibs boss Shaun Maloney has broken his silence and expressed his disappointment at being denied the “time to move the club forward”.

The 39-year-old former Belgium coach was apparently raging at being relieved of his duties on Tuesday, just days after his side had been defeated in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

The second derby loss in successive weekends - the first denied the Leith side a place in the top six and, consequently, European football - but Maloney, who was allowed to see out just four months of a three-and-a-half-year contract, believes he should have been given time to turn things around.

In a statement, he said it had been “an honour and a privilege to be manager of Hibernian, a club with such a proud and distinguished history”.

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He added: “I'm disappointed not to have had the time to move the club forward to a position where we could consistently challenge the top teams in the country for domestic honours and European football.

"It was my deepest desire to be able to deliver for the fans a team which they could feel proud and inspired by.”

Appointed midway through the season, with the club already in the bottom six and struggling to find the form that had taken them to third place in the Premiership last season, injuries and the lack of a cutting edge meant his side managed just five wins in 19 since December, and prompted the board to act.

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Shaun Maloney has expressed his disappointment at being sacked by Hibs after just four months in charge. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Owner Ron Gordon has since admitted that it was a gamble to install such an inexperienced manager into the managerial role. Maloney believes that, in time, he would have delivered.

"Even though the pain of our defeat last week remains raw, I was convinced even more by the nature of our performance and the desire we showed, even reduced to ten men, that given time we would have achieved this.

"From day one, the players have been a pleasure to work with and I'm grateful for their enthusiasm and commitment to my coaching ideas.

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"To the fans, I can only say that I wish I had been able to make you happier more often.

"I wish you and the team every success in the future."

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