New Rotherham United manager Alan Stubbs has allayed the worst fears of Hibs fans by confirming that he will not raid his former club for their leading players.
The 44-year-old developed an array of gifted youngsters during his two years at Easter Road, most notably polishing John McGinn into a Scotland internationalist following his arrival from St Mirren.
Jason Cummings has also improved immeasurably under Stubbs, bagging 25 goals last term, while the likes of Dylan McGeouch and Fraser Fyvie have seen their careers revitalised in Leith.
Despite their modest size, there is little doubt that Rotherham would have the financial muscle to table an acceptable offer for the majority of Hibs’ prize assets, such is the trickle-down wealth in the English game.
However, Stubbs says he believes it would be “disrespectful” to plunder the Hibs squad and insists he still wants the best for his former club as they target a return to the Ladbrokes Premiership.
He said: “I am a down-to-earth guy and I am a respectful guy. Even though I have a lot of admiration for the players at Hibs, I don’t think you will see me coming in for any of them – out of respect.
“I want the best for their football club. The one thing I wouldn’t want to do, after everything Hibs did for me, is disrespect them by cherry-picking their assets.
“It was a fantastic time there and I will never have a bad word to say about them or look to slight them. I’ll still look for the results, I’ll be in contact with the people there, and that affinity will never end.”
Stubbs has also assured Hibs supporters that chief executive Leeann Dempster will find the right man to succeed him.
Stubbs was unveiled by Rotherham yesterday after penning a three-year deal with the Millers alongside trusted assistant John Doolan. It leaves Hibs searching for their ninth permanent manager in ten years, but the departing boss insists the club has the right management structure in place to pull another rabbit out of the hat with their next appointment.
He said: “Every decision in that job is a big call. When you look back, I think she got the decision to bring me in right. It worked out well.
“Leeann has been fantastic throughout my time at Hibs, we had a great relationship and I hope that will carry on even though I’m no longer at the club. We’ll speak over the coming days, months and years.
“I have no doubt, having worked closely with her, director of football George [Craig] and the chairman [Rod Petrie] that they will get the next appointment right.
“I am glad that it has happened early rather than later in the summer, when it may have had a much bigger impact.
“Hibs can go and find a replacement and hopefully begin a successful new chapter and I can do the same at Rotherham.”