Four-year deal

Johnson ready to take on Hibs challenge

Lee Johnson and Ron Gordon
Deal: Lee Johnson with Ron Gordon (pic: SNS Group)

Former Hearts player Lee Johnson has been handed the task of reviving the fortunes of Hibs after being handed a four-year deal as the club’s new manager.

The 40-year-old was identified by the Easter Road hierarchy as the man they wanted to replace Shaun Maloney, who was sacked after just four months in Leith.

Johnson, who was dismissed by Sunderland at the turn of the year, has also been in charge of Bristol City, Barnsley and Oldham Athletic, becomes the Hibees’ third permanent manager in six months after Jack Ross was axed in December.

The Englishman had a six-month stint with the Jambos in 2006 and also helped Kilmarnock win the Scottish League Cup in 2012 during his time north of the Border. He plans to bring former Tynecastle team-mate Jamie McAllister to Easter Road as his No. 2 after beating Dane Jon Dahl Tomasson to the vacant post.

Hibs finished a disappointing eighth in the Scottish Premiership this season, and Johnson faces a busy summer ahead as he puts together a squad tasked by owner Ron Gordon with finishing in the top six next season and challenging for the European places.

Ron Gordon introduces Lee Johnson (pic: Terry Murden)

“I want to play a high-tempo brand of football, I turn the dial to quite attacking during the games,” said Johnson. “We’ve got a team and players that naturally fit in but of course we’re going to have to recruit to try and enhance that.

“I believe that I’ll be backed, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t. It’s down to me to make sure I sign off on the players but there’s a whole team that goes behind that.

Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson: four year deal (pic: Terry Murden)

“There’s a lot of young players at the club, we will bring more young players to the club. But hopefully that will aid our playing style to be aggressive, to be robust, to play forward, to run forward, to have good cohesion between the units.”

Gordon said: “We know this appointment is vital, so we really took our time. We have been very clear on the type of profile, the style of football, and the experience we want our new manager to have.”

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