FORMER CAPTAIN and manager John Hughes admits he is ‘bitterly disappointed’ to have been ruled out of the running for the Hibernian manager’s job after failing to make the club’s short-list.
The ex-Falkirk and Inverness Caley Thistle boss had been desperate for a return to Easter Road, where he led the team to fourth in the Premier League and qualification for Europe in 2010 before being sacked after just seven league games the following season.
He subsequently led Inverness Caley Thistle to third in the league and their historic Scottish Cup triumph of 2015, earning the PFA Scotland and Scottish football writers’ manager of the year awards.
However, he has been out of work since an ill-judged spell at Raith Rovers in 2017 when he could not keep the Kirkcaldy club in the Championship.
The 55-year-old remains keen on a return to management and won backing from the likes of former Inverness attacker Ryan Christie, long-time assistant Brian Rice, and ex-Easter Road favourites Derek Riordan and Paul Kane for the Hibs post.
However, with Jack Ross, Daniel Stendel, Harry Kewell and John Kennedy being strongly linked with the club, chief executive Leeann Dempster and sporting director Graeme Mathie – who are leading the search for the new boss – have opted not to give Hughes a second bite at the cherry at his boyhood heroes.
Having been told he will not be getting an interview, Hughes told Capital City Press: “I’m bitterly disappointed I never got the chance to go and speak to Leeann Dempster and Graeme Mathie.
“But I wish the club all the best for the future.
“It won’t be at Hibs but it has whett my appetite for getting back into management in the future.”