Hibs midfielder John McGinn has handed the Leith side a huge boost after admitting he has no intention of following Alan Stubbs through the exit door.
Head coach Stubbs quit the club last week to join Rotherham but McGinn admits the loss of the man that he credits with taking his game to a different level does not affect his commitment to Hibs.
And despite becoming a Hibs legend by being part of the side that ended the tortuous 114-year wait for Scottish Cup glory at Hampden in May, McGinn insists he has unfinished business at Easter Road after the team failed to earn promotion back to the top-flight last season.
“It was really disappointing that we didn’t get promoted, but it’s a happy club to be at.
“I’m very happy here. We’ve got a great squad. It’s disappointing that the manager’s left but that’s football. I’m sure I’ll have just as good a relationship with the new manager.
“I do feel like I’ve got unfinished business here. We had a squad that we all felt was capable of competing in the Premiership.
“That’s all well and good – but we didn’t do it.
“So we’ve got a determination to go and prove ourselves in the league, show that we’re a Premiership club. I would want to be part of that.
“Before the Cup Final, we were told that we’d always be remembered for winning that trophy – but we wouldn’t be remembered the same if we failed in the Championship next year.
“So I’m keen to enjoy more days like the cup parade. More success. That will come if we win the Championship.”
McGinn, who was an unused substitute in Scotand’s 3-0 defeat to France in Metz, was named Ladbrokes Championship player of the year yesterday following a hugely-impressive debut campaign at Hibs.
The 21-year-old delivered a stunning man of the match performance on his Scotland debut in March’s win over Denmark before being part of the historic Hibs side that defeated Rangers at Hampden.
And the playmaker admits he has departed head coach Stubbs to thank for transforming his career.
He added: “It goes without saying that losing the gaffer is a set-back. The board were desperate to keep him.
“That’s because he transformed the club, really. I think it was on a massive downer when he arrived.
“It was disappointing to see the gaffer and John leave because they were amazing for me personally, and for the team.
“I always look back to the first time I met him. It was me, my mum and my dad, and he said to me, ‘I guarantee I’ll make you a better player’ and I think he’s done that.
“John (Doolan) and Taff (Andy Holden) alongside him were a big help as well.
“They all worked well together. Hibs was a great place to be over the past season.
“It was really enjoyable. Every day I was coming in looking forward to training because we were always doing something different. It was refreshing.
“I wish them all the best at Rotherham. I text him to wish him all the best and thanked him for all he’s done for me and he replied along the same lines. Rotherham have got themselves a really good manager.”
Celtic fan McGinn admits he would welcome the appointment of Neil Lennon, who has held talks with Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster, if the former Hoops manager is handed the reigns.
He added: “I’ve obviously seen his name linked with the job. And he’s a manager who has worked at the highest level.
“So if it was him, we’d all be looking forward to working with him.”
McGinn, meanwhile, insists hearing Scotland manager Gordon Strachan admit that playing in the Championship would not hamper his international chances is a relief.
He added: “Gordon Strachan knows what I can do and it’s great that the past season hasn’t held me back.
“It gives me great confidence that he’s said he’ll pick me even though I’ve been playing in the Championship.
“When I’m playing week in, week out at Hibs, that’s helping my development, and I’m sure that’s something the staff at Scotland want to see.”