BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press
Alan Stubbs insists he is ‘very happy’ at Hibernian after being linked with the vacant manager’s job at Dundee United.
Stubbs is reportedly one of the candidates being considered by the Tannadice club as they seek a successor to Jackie McNamara, who was sacked in the wake of a sixth league defeat of the season last weekend.
The Hibs boss was also said to be in the sights of Wigan Athletic in the summer and was adamant yesterday there had been no contact from the Tayside club.
However, he was keen to stress his contentment with – and concentration on – the post he currently occupies at Easter Road.
He said: “I have a job to do here at Hibs and nothing has changed.
“The one thing is that the story has not come from anything close to me. I can’t stop things from going out there as that is the nature of football. If someone wants to link me with a job I can’t control that.
“I have a job to do at Hibs and I am very happy.
“A few months ago I was linked to another job (Wigan) and nothing happened or came of that but I had to respond to it.
“There has been no contact from Dundee United to me or my representatives. If there was I would tell people, as I am that way inclined.”
With the likes of Steven Pressley, Jim McIntyre and Tommy Wright ruling themselves out of the running and others, such as Mixu Paatelainen, Stuart McCall and Steve Evans, already linked, Stubbs believes the United post is an attractive one.
He added: “I am very ambitious and it is a very good job for someone. Dundee United have some good players and some decent youngsters at Tannadice.
“I am at a big club in Hibs. I was given a good opportunity and we want to get promoted out of this division.
“I respect Dundee United as a club but I respect Hibernian football club as well.”
Stubbs is only in the second season of his career as a first-team management, but – despite failing to win promotion with Hibs last season – has already earned a reputation for good football and an eye for a player.
However, with the Dundee United job only becoming available because of the sacking of his friend, and former Celtic team-mate, Jackie McNamara, the 43-year-old is all too painfully aware of the pitfalls of the role.
He commented: “I’m just disappointed that I am talking about all of this because my pal has lost his job. I am disappointed for him and unfortunately that is the business that we are in.
“Football management can be very ruthless at times and it a results-orientated business.
“Unfortunately for Jackie he has lost his job and now the position is available for somebody else.
“I have spoken to Jackie and (coach) Darren (Jackson); I sent Jackie a test as soon as it happened. They are obviously disappointed with the way things have worked out.
“People say that you are not a good manager until you have been sacked and came back from that and become better.
“Hopefully that does not happen to me and I do not experience that.
“The one thing that is inevitable as a football manager is that one day you will get the sack. I hope that does not happen to me for a long time.
“But I am honest enough to realise that it might because it comes with the territory.”