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New Hibs boss Lee Johnson promises 'forward-thinking football'

Johnson says he was attracted to the size and potential of the Easter Road club.

New Hibernian manager Lee Johnson promises ‘forward-thinking football’ SNS Group
The manager promised football that will excite fans.

Lee Johnson has outlined his footballing philosophy and how he aims to put together an athletic, attacking Hibs team with a clear identity.

Johnson has been appointed as the clubs’s new manager and handed a four-year deal after being identified as the man to take the team forward after Shaun Maloney’s time in charge was ended after just four months.

With managerial experience at Sunderland, Bristol City, Barnsley and Oldham, and a playing career that spanned eight clubs including Hearts and Kilmarnock, Johnson said football is “in his blood” and that he intends to connect with the Hibs support.

“Hibs are getting a hungry manager,”he said. “I feel like football’s in my blood.

“My father’s a manager. A lot of my family are in football and I have a lot of experience despite my relatively young years. I want to bring all that to Hibs.

“The main thing is to get a supporter base who feel attached and can identify with the performance. I want the fanbase to really be a part of our performance, that’s absolutely key for me.”

The 40-year-old outlined the style he hopes to introduce, and says he believes it’ll be a team that gets on the front foot and excites supporters.

Johnson said: “Can we have such a clear identity in the way we play that they can start to recognise key factors in games and therefore get behind us and support us?

“I want an aggressive team in terms of being forward-thinking. I want players to play forward and run forward. The simple aspect is to make sure we are playing with such a tempo and high line we can force the opposition into unforced errors.

“I want us to be world-class in transition and you need athletic players for that with quality and good decision-making.”

The manager, who dismissed his time at Hibs’ rivals Hearts as being insignificant, was clear on why he had been attracted to the vacancy at Easter Road.

“First and foremost the size of the club, that’s important to me,” he said, when asked about the appeal of managing Hibs.

“I feel like I’ve got a little bit of unfinished business in Scotland. What I did in my playing days was not sufficient to scratch the itch of my roots because I’m half-Scottish from my mum’s side.

“What better place to do it than at a big club like this? I’ve always respected the standard in Scotland. It’s a great league with big games coming thick and fast.

“I think Hibs have slightly underachieved although I’ve been in (similar) jobs so I know there’s always context.

“That’s important to recognise. There are some fantastic players in the club, some really good young players I like, and we’ve got the scope to go and add quality at the forward end of the pitch to go and be successful.

“There’s a lot to do but I also feel I can add value to the current squad just as a coach.”