• Hibs have underachieved and 'nobody is shying away from that'
  • Brushed off talk of his own managerial ambitions on a 'difficult' day
  • Rejected suggestion that players have downed tools 
  • Wants reaction to Aberdeen defeat before summer reset

Did we see the best of Nick Montgomery?

"He brought positivity. He was a fantastic guy. I've got the utmost respect for him, he was fantastic with me. He gave me lots of responsibility.

"He was on the training pitch every day. He was a proper professional and had a really good way about him around the squad."

READ MORE: Inside Montgomery's Hibs exit as club makes 'necessary' call

Does it provide an eye-opener for the future?

"It's clearly a very difficult job. I think every single manager that takes on the job understands the consequences when they sign up to it so there's no surprise to that. And it's always a challenge. I still think it's something when you're involved in football, the highs are so high, you need to be able to deal with lows and how you are able to put it all together to be the best version of yourself.

"I can only talk from the short periods I've been unfortunately sitting in this situation that I am at the moment but it's obviously a very difficult job."


We've seen this same movie before - it has to change?

"I think that's what everybody wants. Nobody wants change all the time. The ideal scenario is that we are successful as a football club. Every decision that gets made is for the benefit of the football club. It's what they believe is the right thing to be successful.

"Everything needs to be aimed at being successful and at this moment in time, we've underachieved and nobody is shying away from that - the staff, the players, everybody needs to take responsibility that as a football club this season, we've underachieved. The league table doesn't lie - we are where we are. It's not good enough for Hibs, we know we need to be better."

The Hibs job is an attractive one - but could the sackings put off potential candidates?

"If anyone has ambitions of being a manager, it is a very difficult job at any level, but to have the opportunity to manage at a club like Hibs, one of the top clubs in Scotland with all the facilities, the fanbase, how passionate it is.

"I've obviously been very fortunate to play for the club and experience ultimate highs and that's why I feel it is such an attractive job for any manager because of the size and level that it operates at. I think it's a good opportunity for anybody."

READ MORE - Hibs bring in Malky Mackay as new sporting director

Do you still harbour an ambition to be a manager in your own right?

"To be honest, this isn't the time at all to be thinking about me and talking about what I want to do and my future. I've only literally hours ago found out that the manager has lost his job, which is very, very difficult.

"You feel responsible because you are part of his staff. It's very difficult for those involved and it's certainly not the right time to be talking about myself and what could, might, won't lie ahead for me. The club has asked me to do one job to prepare the boys for Wednesday night and I know I keep going over that but that has to be my full focus.

"We need to rectify the result and performance on Sunday and we have an opportunity to do that on Wednesday night."

How can you lift this broken team?

“When you lose 4-0 at home to anyone it’s always going to be really sore and I wouldn’t expect anyone to be happy with that.

“I fully expect everyone to be down and feeling sorry for themselves and rightly so, because it wasn’t good enough. Everyone accepts that.

“One thing you have as a football player is responsibility. There are two games to go and every time you pull on the jersey you need to be the best version of yourself. The club, the fans deserve it, they come and pay their money every single week, home and away, they follow this club everywhere.

“And they deserve a product on the pitch everyone is going to fight for. It;s an easy team talk for me on that front. It’s an opportunity to put Sunday right straight away.:

You've played and managed Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson...

“I think it’s important their achievements are recognised.

“If you asked the two of them, would they rather play or sit on the bench and the team gets three points they’d take the points, that’s the type of character they both are. That’s why they have been at the club for so long.

READ MORE - Paul Hanlon addresses Hibs departure reversal chances

“It’s a fantastic achievement for them to be at one club for as long as they have, to achieve what they have. Lewis has seen it all; 600 appearances potentially is something that very rarely happens, people don’t stay at clubs for that length of time. Credit to him because he’s not only a fantastic football player, but an unbelievable role model and a very good human being. People like that deserve good things to happen to them.”

Nick said the club is on the right trajectory - is it?

“You can clearly see the squad is very talented. The manager is right to say it can be better, because the results show it can be better but we need to do everything we possibly can to turn it around.

READ MORE - Hibs accused of 'insulting' fans over Malky Mackay's appointment

“It’s a collective. The manager always carries the can because he’s at the front of it, but we all need to be better – every single player, every single staff member, all working towards Hibs being successful. This is a fantastic football club and a fantastic squad of players that is underachieving and needs to do better."

Do the fans need someone to inspire them?

“The club needs to be successful. Every decision made is because the club is striving to do better and be successful.

“That [the fans] happens naturally when results and performances on the pitch are going well. The fans have still been there, thick and thin all season.

“You see the numbers are lower but the ones that are always there are there every single week, and will continue to be there. I know they’ll be there on Wednesday night again because they are the diehards, and this is their club.

“We’ve got a duty to make sure that we fix Sunday’s result, then try to end the season as positively as we can with two wins. That has to be the aim.

“Then we’ll have a chance to reset over the summer and the club can decide which direction they want to take it in, which will be for what they – and we – believe is that this club needs to be successful next season.

“Every decision made will be to make sure that happens as soon as possible. As you say, the fans deserve it.”

Have the players downed tools?

“I think it’s a very easy one to throw at the players after a result like Sunday. And because of the result, the players probably aren’t in a position to question it. We know that’s unacceptable. The result and performance on Sunday wasn’t good enough.

“Every single time you pull on a Hibs jersey and represent the club, you have a duty to be the best you can be as a professional footballer. What an opportunity you’ve got to play for a fantastic club, and it’s such a short career that you’re constantly being judged all the time.

“We’ve all got our own motivations, whatever it may be – family or friends. Some boys are supporters of the football club. They’ve got a duty to a level of professionalism that has to be there every single week, you can’t turn it on and off.

“To answer your question - do I think they’re on holiday? No. They know they have an opportunity on Wednesday to fix Sunday’s result. It’s not going to fix the season, absolutely not, but we need a reaction.”