Hibs supporters have taken to social media to state their opinions on Lee Johnson’s departure from Easter Road.
The former Sunderland manager officially parted company with the club on Sunday afternoon after Saturday’s 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Livingston left his side sat at the bottom of the Premiership table and without a point to their name.
It has been a difficult opening month to the season for Johnson after Hibs suffered a humiliating 2-1 defeat in a Europa Conference League meeting with Andorran minnows Inter Club d’Escaldes before progressing with a 6-1 home win in the second leg. League defeats against St Mirren, Motherwell and Livingston have darkened the mood at Easter Road and Thursday’s 5-0 hammering at the hands of Aston Villa have all but brought an end to any thoughts of further progression in Europe.
A club statement released on Sunday read: “Hibernian FC can confirm that that Lee Johnson has departed the Club as First Team Manager. Jamie McAllister and Adam Owen have also left with immediate effect.
Chief Executive Ben Kensell commented: “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.”
“David Gray will take charge of the First Team as Caretaker Manager for the immediate future, and be supported by Stuart Garden. No further comment will be made at this time.”
The announcement was met with approval fro the majority of supporters across social media with Harry Thomson suggesting it was ‘the only decision that could be made’.
Replying to the club’s Facebook post, Harry Thomson said: “Only decision that could be made, and hopefully a new manager can organise the players in place so that they become more difficult to beat. Somehow…”
Aaron McConnell also stressed the importance of getting the right manager to replace Johnson as he said: “Need to get the next appointment right or next the owners and the board are under real pressure.”
David Brown gave a frank assessment of Johnson’s reign and he believes Hibs need ‘a more tactically aware manager’ if they are to move on from what has been a difficult start to the season on a number of fronts.
He said: “Never like to see managers sacked because that means they are failing at your club. But this was a nailed on parting of the ways as the club was going backwards in his leadership. I don’t think the players bought in to what he was doing and we now need a more tactically aware manager who can get the best out of this squad of players. Let’s see what can be done now and get behind the new manager.”
However, Stuart Ball felt the issues at Easter Road go beyond whoever is occupying the manager’s office. He posted: “While I agree he was a bit out of his depth we have had seven full time managers in ten years. That points to more than just an issue with managers and until that it is addressed this merry go round will continue.
“Also, whoever is next needs the correct backing but also needs to be make the correct decisions regarding long serving players who, while once great, should not be in the team.”
With thoughts turning towards Johnson’s successor, a number of supporters have suggested the return of a familiar face with Neil Lennon mentioned in a number of posts. The former Celtic manager spent two and a half years in charge at Easter Road earlier in his career and Kirk Goodall believes the former Northern Ireland international has the ‘passion and ambition’ to impress in the role once again.
He said: “Correct decision. Neil Lennon would be my first choice. Some fans won’t like him, however he has passion and ambition. We need that!”