HIBS ICON Pat Stanton has urged supporters to move on from a turbulent few weeks and get fully behind the new manager when he is appointed – whoever it is.
The Easter Road club have held extensive talks with candidates since the controversial suspension and subsequent departure of Neil Lennon last month.
Former Barnsley and Leeds United boss Paul Heckingbottom was the first to be installed as favourite for the job before ex-Oxford United and Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton looked to have taken over as the preferred choice.
With discussions with Appleton seemingly reaching an impasse over a future severance agreement, Heckingbottom now appears to be back as the front runner.
Despite negotiating with both throughout, some have voiced concerns Heckingbottom will be seen as second choice and claim the Hibs board should be held to account for failing to land Appleton.
However, Stanton insists the new man has to be given a chance to impress and needs the backing of the supporters as the team gears up for a top-six push and a Scottish quarter-final encounter with Celtic.
The Hibs legend told Capital City Press: “I think the Neil Lennon situation came right out of the blue for people, but that’s happened and Neil’s away and the Hibs are still here.
“They’re looking for a manager or a head coach and, at the end of the day, whoever’s picked, the fans have just got to get behind them.
“The club will make an appointment once they have gone through the right process, and the fans have to give the new manager every opportunity to establish themselves.
“The fans have got a part to play in this by getting behind whoever’s chosen. That’s vital.
“Everyone will have their views on what’s gone on, and their opinions on how this all came about, but once the appointment is made that’s all in the past and you’ve just got to get behind the new chap and let them get on with it.
“There’s a lot still to play for. There’s the later stages of the Scottish Cup and between now and the end of the season the fans are hoping for as much success as possible.”