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David Gray: What could appointment mean for Hibs?

Written by on June 6, 2024

Hibs have gone down the previously successful route in Jack Ross, the big name in Shaun Maloney, the experienced English incomer in Lee Johnson and the league winning rising star in Nick Montgomery.

Now, as former Hibs midfielder Guillaume Beuzelin, now a key figure in the club’s academy system, has been quoted as saying, they appear to have gone for someone guaranteed to unite the entire club behind his leadership.

Someone current left-back Jordan Obita said he and his team-mates respect “completely”.

It will, of course, be argued that such insiders are bound to say nice things publicly – and the fans do appear divided about the appointment despite their former captain’s lauded status.

Some think that he has already proved himself capable in his spells as caretaker and that, having already appointed former Cardiff City manager and Scottish FA performance chief Malky Mackay as sporting director, he will have plenty of valuable experience to call upon.

Indeed, after a win and draw under Gray at the end of the season, he has a 50% win rate across the 12 games he has been in charge of over his four caretaker spells. That is better than all previous six permanent managers.

Some fans would, though, have preferred Gray had cut his teeth elsewhere before returning to Easter Road and fear that, like former midfielder Franck Sauzee before him, his legendary status could be tarnished if he becomes another short-term casualty of Hibs’ high expectations.

It was a sentiment echoed by former Livingston manager Allan Preston, who predicted on BBC Scotland’s Sportsound that Hibs would go for “someone more experienced and exciting” and feared that Mackay might be too dominant personality in their relationship dynamic.

Former Motherwell captain Stephen Craigen also thought Hibs might want someone more colourful than Gray, “someone not in the norm in Scotland”, such as Aberdeen have done in appointing Jimmy Thelin from Elfsborg.

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