Easter Road changes

Hibs kick off search for new boss after sacking Johnson

Lee Johnson
Axed: Lee Johnson (pic: Terry Murden)

Hibs have begun the hunt for their fourth manager in 20 months after sacking Lee Johnson.

The Easter Road board swung the axe after a 3-2 defeat at home to Livingston on Saturday left the Leith outfit rooted to the foot of the Scottish Premiership without a point after three matches.

Assistants Jamie McAllister and Adam Owen have also left with immediate effect.

Early names tipped to succeed Johnson include former player Scott Brown and ex-manager Neil Lennon. Another in the frame is Derek McInnes, who has started the season strongly with Kilmarnock, and Chris Wilder, the ex-Sheffield United chief.

Brown, currently managing Fleetwood Town in England’s League One, was linked with a return to Scotland as boss or assistant with Celtic this summer as the club replaced Ange Postecoglou with Brendan Rodgers.

The Easter Road club has announced that first-team coach and Scottish Cup-winning captain David Gray will take charge of first team matters on a caretaker basis for the immediate future, supported by Stuart Garden.

Just over a week ago Johnson was riding high after the aggregate Europa Conference League victory over Swiss side Luzern.

But pressure had been mounting on the 42-year-old after a poor start to the domestic campaign and last week’s 5-0 thrashing by Aston Villa in first leg of the Conference League play-off in Leith.

The board decided to terminate his contract which still had three years to run.

Hibs chief executive Ben Kensell said: “The club has taken the tough decision to relieve Lee Johnson of his duties following a disappointing start to the domestic campaign.

“We wish Lee and his coaching staff all the best for the future and thank them for their efforts.”

The Englishman was appointed by late former owner Ron Gordon, taking over from Shaun Maloney in May 2022.

Hibs finished fifth in his first season in charge but with the defeat to Livingston following losses to St Mirren and Motherwell, the writing was on the wall.

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