I don't believe David Gray is Hibs yes man for Malky Mackay as how Easter Road structure works is clear - Tam McManus

David Gray
-Credit: (Image: SNS Group)

Hibs needed to appoint a manager to bring the whole club back together because in the 25 years since I broke through in Leith I’d say there’s never been a bigger disconnect with the supporters.

And that’s a worrying admission given some of what’s gone on in that time. Easter Road should be rocking but for too long the atmosphere has been shocking and I’ve said for a couple of seasons now that apathy has bee sweeping around the place. Season ticket holders have been getting to the stage they can’t be bothered going to games and that says it all.

David Gray’s appointment can sort that. I’m certain of it. He has the respect of the fans first and foremost. He is a Scottish Cup winning legend, a popular figure around the club and he is exactly the right type of no-nonsense character needed to sort this team out.

More than anything he knows the club and knows the Scottish game. That’s key. The Hibs board at last have the right management team in place with David as head coach and, above him, Malky Mackay as sporting director.

Don’t suggest for a minute David’s going in there as a puppet for those above though. There’s no way he is a yes man. I’ve heard some pundits say he could get manipulated by Malky. But I don’t go along with that for one minute.

Quite simply it’s his head on the block and he’d be foolish to go with whatever someone above him is saying. You have to go out on your own sword and, from what I’ve been told, David has his own ideas on the game and will look to put his stamp on the team.

He’s on the UEFA Pro Licence right now with a couple of my pals Scott Brown and Stephen Clarke, who I work with at the SFA performance school Braidhurst, and they have been impressed by him.

Few people know what’s needed better than David who has been one of the few constants in the first team environment for the past decade. Of course he will go to Malky for bits of advice, he is vastly experienced across British football and will be a superb sounding board.

Malky will help take the weight off in terms of recruitment and other off-field things to allow David to concentrate on coaching the team and setting them up to win games of football. That’s got to be the way it works.

Hibs have a real solid look in terms of management now and I reckon David will keep it simple. Look at the guys that have been successful in the league. Derek McInnes, Stephen Robinson, Tony Docherty and we have to admit Steven Naismith too - they all have a vast knowledge of Scottish football.

Their teams are hard to break down, hard to beat but they all have that bit of magic at the other end that can win games. That’s Scottish football in a nutshell. If David can sort the defence out, have a real solid spine, then Hibs should be up there challenging again. It’s not rocket science.

Nick Montgomery and Lee Johnson thought they could play expansive football. The last successful manager was Jack Ross who was pragmatic. Hibs need that type of figure that will get the job done. And David is that gritty kind of guy.

I’d expect Darren McGregor to step up from the development team to be apart of the backroom team and, again, that would be a good fit. He’s been beside David on the occasions he took caretaker charge last season.

Darren was a real no-nonsense defender, hard, a local boy and a big Hibs fan. Nobody would get away with slacking or taking the p*** with those two guys in charge.

There’s only 36 days until the season opens with a League Cup tie away to Elgin and David will know he needs the core of his team sorted in that time. Not just sorted but ready to play.

The first port of call should be right up his street. He needs to sort the backline and get a goalkeeper in to replace David Marshall. Right now they have no number one and only one recognised centre half.

I’m convinced they still have guys in the final third that can provide the magic and get you goals. Guys like Martin Boyle, Elie Youan if he sticks around. They need another striker too. Dylan Vente is the only recognised number nine. David will know if he is good enough to lead the line. If not I’m sure he will try to sell him.

Listen the money should be there for David to build his squad. Bill Foley’s millions are in the bank and there’s been more fresh investment into the club in the last week. Every manager recently has been backed and David should be the the same as he looks to put his stamp on the team.

He has a bit of a blank canvas as a lot of loan players have left in the last few weeks and others have been freed. With the right backing I’m certain he can paint a brighter picture and get the sun shining on Leith again.