New Hibs boss Maloney details long-term European and domestic ambitions

SHAUN Maloney was unveiled as the new manager of Hibernian yesterday – and revealed his long-term ambitions with the Easter Road club are to lift trophies and qualify for Europe.

Maloney, the former Celtic, Aston Villa, Wigan Athletic and Scotland midfielder, has stood down as assistant with Belgium and signed a three-and-half year deal with the capital outfit.

The 38-year-old, who has never managed before, will take charge of his first match tomorrow evening when Aberdeen travel to Leith for a cinch Premiership encounter.

Hibs, who parted company with Jack Ross earlier this month following a disappointing run of form, are currently in seventh place in the top flight.

Maloney stressed his immediate priority is to get his side further up the league table – but admitted that he has lofty objectives beyond that. 

“What’s been shown domestically is there are other teams (outside Celtic and Rangers) who have won cups recently,” he said.

“I think that’s something that for sure that we have to give ourselves the most chance of doing.

“In the short-term, we have the game on Wednesday, but we have to try and push as hard as we can to make that top four.

“We’re seventh at the moment, and there are other teams who have the same objectives. But we have to push for fourth with the talent we have in the squad. And if we get there we have to push for third.

“And in the long-term, from speaking to the owner and CEO and also doing my own homework, if we can get to these places then I would really love to see if we can qualify for European competition. It has to be one of the long term goals for the club.”

Maloney has appointed Gary Caldwell (assistant manager), Valerio Zuddas (first team coach and conditioning) and Brian Doogan (head of technical support) to his Hibs backroom team. They will work alongside David Gray (first team coach) and Craig Samson (goalkeeping coach).

He revealed he had no desire to leave Belgium, who will take part in the World Cup finals in Qatar next year, but confessed the chance to take over at Hibs had proved too tempting.

“I had an amazing job and a brilliant manager in Roberto (Martinez) so there was no push from my side,” said Maloney.

“But I know the size of the club, I know the intensity of the support and I thought it would be a really positive thing to start discussing when I was approached. From there the feelings grew and it was an opportunity I just couldn’t turn down.”

He continued: “It was difficult (to leave Belgium) because I absolutely loved working with Roberto and the staff.

“Roberto made the whole process very easy and always gave me advice when I sought it. He is a really good person and I’ll forever be grateful for that.”

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