What next for Hibs? Livingston draw shuts door on season to forget but next manager could be under their noses

Premiership finale ends in stalemate at the Tony Macaroni Arena

Hibs brought the curtain down on a season to forget with a 1-1 draw in Livingston that neither helped nor hindered David Gray's chances of becoming permanent manager.

While a meaningless end-of-season encounter against an already relegated side may not count for much, Gray has now accrued a not insignificant sample size of 12 matches in caretaker charge over four separate spells.

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Five wins, three draws and four defeats is a mixed record, but considering that each short-lived tenure has come amid difficult circumstances, the 2016 Scottish Cup hero has fared particularly well.

Myziane Maolida celebrates scoring the opener for Hibs in the 1-1 draw with Livingston. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)Myziane Maolida celebrates scoring the opener for Hibs in the 1-1 draw with Livingston. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Myziane Maolida celebrates scoring the opener for Hibs in the 1-1 draw with Livingston. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

Consider also that two of his defeats were to Celtic in a League Cup final and away to Aston Villa in Europe and his record looks even better. As Hibs search for their sixth manager in four years, the answer could be right under their noses.

With Malky Mackay in the building, it could be the right time for Hibs to take a chance on an up and coming young manager-in-waiting - who also happens to be a club legend - under the wing of an experienced sporting director.

This stalemate at the Tony Macaronia Arena will be unlikely to feature heavily in the Easter Road hierarchy's final decision as both sides looked keen to draw a line under diiffcult campaigns.

Hibs failure to make the top six cost Montgomery his job. For Livingston, the Championship now beckons and they will hope they can do a Dundee United and bounce straight back up, rather than an Inverness, who now find themselves in League One nine years after finishing third in the top flight.

"There is still going to be a good group at the football club that can hopefully take them back to the Premiership," said manager David Martindale, whose own future remains uncertain amid an ongoing legal dispute over the ownership of the club.

For Hibs, the game marked the end of an era. Paul Hanlon wore the captain's armband and received a standing ovation from the travelling fans as he left the field for the final time with five minutes remaining.

He and Lewis Stevenson are to depart the club this summer after over two decades of service. More comings and going are likely with a chunk of the £6m injection from Bill Foley's Black Knights group set to be spent on improving the squad.

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Keeping hold of Myziane Maolida would be a statement of intent but it would seem more likely that this was his Hibs swansong ahead of his return to Hertha Berlin following a highly fruitful five-month loan.

The Comoros international signed off with another goal - his 11th in 19 appearances for Hibs - which highlighted his quality as he showed quick feet at the edge of the box to create a chance out of nothing before firing a volley into the net via a slight nick off a defender.

Maolida's 49th minute opener was only the third shot on target in the game after an eventful first half.

The second half was a little livelier and Livingston gave their home fans something to cheer with an equaliser from Bruce Anderson in the 67th minute. The striker, playing his last game for the club, controlled a Joel Nouble cross at the back post and side-footed home as Hibs claimed unsuccessfully for a push in the box.



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