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Hibernian: Lee Johnson appointed manager after ‘incredibly thorough and vigorous’ search

Lee Johnston has signed a four-year deal with Hibernian

Lee Johnson has signed a four-year deal to become Hibernian manager after an “incredibly thorough and vigorous” search, says chairman Ron Gordon.

The 40-year-old, who has had managerial spells at Bristol City, Barnsley and Oldham Athletic and short playing stints at Hearts and Kilmarnock, was dismissed by Sunderland in January.

He replaces Shaun Maloney, who lasted just four months at Easter Road.

“We know this appointment is vital, so we really took our time,” Gordon said.

“We have been very clear on the type of profile, the style of football, and the experience we want our new manager to have.

“There were a number of high-quality managers interested and we analysed them all thoroughly. The candidates were interviewed in depth before we unanimously came to the decision that Lee was the perfect fit for us.”

Johnson is Hibs’ third permanent manager in six months after Jack Ross left in December, before his replacement Maloney was also removed from the post in April.

Former captain David Gray, who had two spells as interim manager over the season, will continue as first-team coach.

What has Johnson achieved in coaching?

Johnson was the youngest manager in the Football League when he took over at Oldham aged 31 in March 2013.

He moved on to League One rivals Barnsley two years later and 12 months on made the switch to Bristol City in the Championship, where he spent more than four years, steering the club to eighth place in 2018-19.

Following his departure in July 2020, Johnson joined Sunderland in December of the same year and won the EFL Trophy in 2021 but missed out on promotion and was sacked in early 2022 following a 6-0 loss at Bolton.

In a club statement, Gordon outlined Johnson’s “great experience”, “definitive style of positive play” and knowledge of the game in both Scotland and England.

The owner also spoke of the Englishman’s skills in recruitment and insisted he would be backed this summer to “put his own stamp on the squad”.

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