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Hibs need TWELVE new signings and Martin Boyle should still win player of year - Tam McManus

By Tam McManus

Hibs hold their player of the year awards bash this weekend and the winner should be a guy who left the club half way through the season.

That Martin Boyle is still the most worthy of the top gong says it all about rotten campaign which has gone from bad to worse since he hit the road to Saudi Arabia in January - 20 games ago.

Nobody has come close to stepping up in Boyler’s absence and just when I thought performances couldn’t get worse along came Wednesday’s disaster at Dundee.

Too many players at Dens looked like they already had the flip flops on .. they might have done better if they had.

There’s been eight goals in 17 league games since the turn of the year and fans are turning up thinking if they concede then they will lose.

It’s just as well Hibs got points on the board early doors because since the turn of the year it’s been relegation form.

When you see Motherwell and Dundee United securing European spots having won 12 and 11 games out of 37 respectively then it shows just how poor Hibs have been to not even get in the top six.

The new manager, whoever he may be, faces a monumental job in the summer because the fans won’t stomach another season like this.

That squad needs DRASTIC changes. It’s needs pace, it needs players who can take people on in the final third, it needs a spark.

There are too many similar players. You’ve got Jake Doyle-Hayes and Joe Newell who are clones in the middle of the park.

It needs 10 to 12 new signings.

Every area of the park needs to be improved. I’d be looking for two centre halves, a left-back, a right-back, two creative midfield players, two wingers and two strikers. David Marshall appears to be on the way to strengthen the goalkeeping department.

Out of the squad there I’d keep seven or eight - Josh Doig, Harry Clarke, Ryan Porteous, Kevin Nisbet, Lewis Stevenson and two or three others.

It’s a huge job. But that’s a good thing for a new manager coming in. When you’ve had such a disappointing season you know you need to rip it up and start again.

Cambuslang man Kevin Nisbet is believed to have been open to the move (SNS Group)

Lee Johnson appears to be the frontrunner.

He did well at Bristol City, securing their best Championship position in the last 14 years a couple of seasons ago.

It didn’t work out for him at Sunderland although he had them in the play-off spots when he was sacked.

But I think he wants to play attractive football and when you’re bringing in a manager then there’s always going to have been a bad spell somewhere. That doesn’t make them a bad manager.

Key for whoever comes in is that they get two transfer windows minimum before you even think about judging him.

You can’t go sacking a guy after 20 games or after the first bad run.

Give the new manager a year at the very least because it’s going to take two windows to get everyone out who you want rid of and everyone in who you want in.

Before then there’s one game left of this wretched season. St Johnstone at Easter Road on Sunday is a dead rubber.

The fans are desperate for a lift. And the only way to do that, other than winning the game, is to blood some youngsters.

I know the U18s are going to win the league and that’s big. But making you’re first team debut is far more important as I found out when I got flung in by Alex McLeish for my first start as a 19-year-old at Tynecastle on the last day of the season back in 1999.

I got man of the match and it set my career off and running.

David Gray has nothing to lose and the only way to find out if kids like Ethan Laidlaw and Connor Young are ready is to give them a chance.

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