Hibernian sack head coach Nick Montgomery and add Malky Mackay as sporting director (2024)

Nick Montgomery has been "relieved of his duties as head coach" at Hibernian.

And the search for his successor will be overseen by newly appointed sporting director Malky Mackay.

The former Scottish FA performance director, sacked as Ross County manager in November, will head the "entire football operation" at Easter Road as the Edinburgh club seek a sixth permanent team boss in just over four years.

Hibs missed out on a top-six finish in the Scottish Premiership and slipped to ninth after Sunday's 4-0 home defeat by Aberdeen, which was followed by a sit-down protest from a small band of fans.

In a club statement, the Gordon family said: “As a board, this was not a decision we made lightly but felt it a necessary one to move the team forward.

"Although Nick and his coaching team worked tirelessly, their efforts didn’t deliver the results we had hoped for."

Assistant head coach Sergio Raimundo and goalkeeping coach Miguel Miranda have also left with immediate effect.

Former Watford, Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic manager Mackay is due to start work at Easter Road on 1 June.

The statement marking his recruitment said the 52-year-old will be in charge of the "entire football operation, encompassing all departments from recruitment through to the Academy. He will also lead on the appointment of the next head coach."

Former captain David Gray steps in for a fourth spell as caretaker manager for the remaining two games of the season, with Motherwell visiting on Wednesday and a visit to bottom side Livingston on Sunday.

Asked why so many managers have failed at Hibs, Gray said: "If it was as simple as that, I'd love to do give you the answer. I don't think it's through a lack of effort.

"This is a great football club – you look at the facilities and everything it's got, but that only counts for so much if you don't find a winning formula on the pitch.

"We've underachieved this season and nobody is shying away from the fact that it's been a collective - everyone needs to do better because we can't just pin it on one thing.

"It's a fantastic job for anyone that has the desire to manage at the top level in Scotland," added Gray, who rebuffed questions about whether he would like the job permanently.

Leeds-born Montgomery, 42, spent most of his playing career with Sheffield United before moving to Australia with Central Coast Mariners and Wollongong Wolves.

He guided Mariners to the 2023 A-League championship after his move into management and succeeded Lee Johnson as Hibs boss in September.

He leaves Leith with a record of 12 wins, 12 draws and 13 defeats.

Brian McLauchlin, BBC Sport Scotland

Montgomery's exit really should come as no surprise given the board’s history in moving managers since Neil Lennon left in 2019 having lifted the club out of the Championship and back into the top half of the Premiership and a European place.

Jack Ross lasted two years but was sacked 10 days before a League Cup final.

Shaun Maloney only got 19 games in dugout, while Lee Johnson was there for an entire season before his exit was sealed after an abject start to this current campaign.

Montgomery made a steady start but failure to reach the top six and a humbling at home to Aberdeen sealed his fate.

The question has to be asked why there is such a high a turnover of managers at a club that has just about everything in place to ensure success.

The training ground is the envy of some others in the top flight, they have one of the best stadiums in the country with a huge fanbase and money to bring in quality players.

So why is it not working and who do they turn to next?

Club legend Gray will be in interim charge for the fourth time, so is there a chance he could be catapulted into the job on a permanent basis?

The board may look at the success across the city of Steven Naismith, a rookie who has led Heart of Midlothian to a comfortable third place in the league.

Or will they look at the experience of Derek McInnes or Stephen Robinson and the excellent jobs they have done at Kilmarnock and St Mirren respectively this season on a smidgen of the budget afforded to the Hibs boss?

Lennon brought success to Hibs when he arrived in the summer of 2016 and is available for hire. He would undoubtedly steady the ship, but would the fans accept him back again?

Some potential candidates may be put off by that very high turnover, but the pressure is on Hibs' board to get it right for the long-term this time.

Hibernian sack head coach Nick Montgomery and add Malky Mackay as sporting director (2024)
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