New Hibs manager looks forward to continuing alliance with Rice

JOHN HUGHES today insisted his assistant manager Brian Rice will have a huge part to play in his bid to drive Hibs back to the upper echelons of the SPL table.

Like Hughes, a former Easter Road player, Rice will team up with the new Hibs boss after a spell in Sweden at the European Under-21 Championships where he will continue working towards his UEFA Pro Licence. And Hughes has no doubt Rice, his right-hand man for six years at Falkirk, will be a massive influence.

Although the pair can trace their friendship back to their playing days together with the Bairns, Hughes joked it goes back even further to when Rice was starring at Easter Road. He said: "I tell Brian I used to watch him from the terracing and once threw a pie at him only to miss because he was so slow. But we met up when Jim Jefferies signed him for Falkirk and we hit it off right away.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Later when Owen Coyle and I were put in charge of Falkirk we were both still playing and we needed a coach. Owen had worked with Brian at Airdrie, it took one phone call and I've been carrying him ever since. Seriously, though, Brian is a very shrewd operator. He can beat the calculator for figures, he's a 'sat nav' when it comes to players and he's a really good organiser.

"At Nottingham Forest he worked under Brian Clough. He brings a lot to the table. We fall out every day, he gives me the respect as manager but will then go away, think about things and then say 'what about doing it this way?'."