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Relegation fear ends Maloney’s Hibs tenure

Shaun Maloney
Shaun Maloney: time up (pic: SNS Group)

Former Celtic and Scotland international Scott Brown has emerged as a potential successor to Shaun Maloney who was sacked by Hibernian yesterday after just four months at Easter Road.

Brown enjoyed five years as a player at the Edinburgh club and is without a club after leaving Aberdeen.

Another former player, Kevin Thomson, has impressed at Kelty Hearts and was interviewed for the Kilmarnock job before Derek McInnes was hired. Ex-Scotland and Celtic player Paul Lambert is a contender along with Celtic number two John Kennedy and Scotland assistant John Carver. An outsider touted by some is Sean Dyche who was despatched by Burnley and understands how to work on a tight budget at the highest level.

Maloney’s departure from Easter Road came as a surprise, following expectations that he would bring some of the ideas learned from working as assistant to Belgium coach Roberto Martinez.

But results have been poor, with only three wins from 15 league games, leaving the club teetering close to the drop zone.

The 39-year-old’s 19-game reign was brought to an abrupt end at the East Mains training ground on Tuesday morning. It followed what has been described as a “bitter exchange” between Maloney and chief executive Ben Kensell.

Maloney is said to have been unhappy with a lack of transfer support, including a bigger share of the £3m raised from Martin Boyle’s switch to Al Faisaly in January.

First-team coach David Gray will take the team until the end of the season, assisted by Eddie May and goalkeeping coach Jon Busch.

Hibs owner Ron Gordon later said Maloney’s sacking was down to “unacceptable” results.

But he said he took his share of the responsibility, stating that the decision to bring in the former Scotland international was “rushed.”

He said: “Ultimately when you look at the results, it’s just really not acceptable. We came to the conclusion on on Monday, I think fairly decisively that we needed to make a change that it was the best thing for the club.”

He said the board had considered giving him more time.

“All those things were discussed in full. But ultimately, the decision of the board was to make a change.”

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