Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster gives backing to head coach Alan Stubbs amid barren patch



Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster has come out in support of head coach Alan Stubbs following a poor run of form in Championship – insisting ‘we can do things this season’.

The Easter Road outfit are now struggling to finish second in the league in the push for a play-off semi-final place after picking up just one win from their last eight matches.

But with Saturday ’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Dundee United at Hampden to look forward to, Dempster is refusing to press the panic button.

leeanndempsterShe said: “We’re in here for the long game. Alan and our team and our coaches have not become poor managers overnight.

“That just has not happened. We’ve hit a dip in form and can I remind everybody that we’re in a Scottish Cup semi-final, we got to the League Cup final and we can get promoted.

“We can do things this season and we intend to really try and do things this season.

“I’m not creating any crisis or drama in that regard, Alan is supported and we’re going forward.

“I don’t want to over-dramatise things but you’re under pressure at a football club – we’re all under pressure.

“Alan handles that really well. Alan’s job, my job and everybody else’s here is to make sure we keep pulling in the same direction.

“He will be feeling the pressure, he will be feeling the pressure from the media, the next matches – but he’s no different to any other football manager.

“We know it’s been disappointing, we can’t deny that – we’ve had some disappointing form.

“We know we need to put it right and we’re getting to that point of the season that every game counts and we need to get it right.

“You can never control sport and never control football but we’re are determined and steely as ever.

“We need to fight to get out of it.

“We understand the absolute need for promotion for supporters and for the club going forward and that’s what we’re determined to do.”

Despite the poor run of form, Dempster is adamant the club can still count on the continued support of the fans.

She added: “I’m absolutely certain that the fans are still behind us, they’re behind myself and they’re behind the management team and the players – and I think they should be.

“We’ve got a really strong base here, we’ve done a lot of work.

“The supporters have been fantastic with us, they’ve supported us and given us their hard earned cash.

“Are they upset and disappointed with the form over the last four, five weeks? Of course they are, of course we are and everyone feels it.

“I know that they’re with us and they’re going to be with us on Saturday as well.”

Dempster, meanwhile, admits she has examined the financial ramifications of spending a third season in the second tier.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, Dempster, who has already admitted that the club are set to make an £800,000 loss for the second year running, added: “Of course I’ve looked at the possibilities, I’m the chief executive of Hibernian Football Club and I need to have a long-term plan.

“I also need to look at the short-term plan. I’m not even considering that at the moment, I’m focused on promotion and we’re focused on the Scottish Cup.”