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Hibs talk to Bobby

Graeme Croser

HIBS were today given permission to approach Kilmarnock boss Bobby Williamson for the vacant manager’s job at Easter Road.

The Hibs board have moved swiftly to try and secure a replacement for Franck Sauzee, whose sacking was announced yesterday after just 69 days in charge.

Killie chairman Sir John Orr said: “We can confirm that we have received a formal request from Malcolm McPherson, chairman of Hibernian, for permission to speak to Bobby Williamson. I have agreed to this request.”

Williamson led Killie to Scottish Cup glory in 1997 and has consistently had the Ayrshire club competing in European competition.

McPherson said yesterday that he was seeking an experienced man, following the failed gamble to hand Sauzee his first managerial job in December.

Meanwhile, McPherson today admitted that had his heart ruled his head then Franck Sauzee would still be manager of Hibs.

The Easter Road chief and fellow board members Rod Petrie, Stephen Dunn and Ken Lewandowski took the decision on Wednesday night to sack the popular Frenchman after just 69 days in charge.

The decision has been met with fury by the vast majority of Hibs supporters, who backed the former club captain unstintingly during his brief spell in charge.

Some have threatened not to renew season-tickets and others have even called for the four directors to resign, but McPherson insisted he was fully prepared for such a backlash.

However, he was adamant that the correct decision had been made in the best interests of the club.

He said: “We understand the fans’ response to Franck’s departure and we fully expected it when we made the decision. We had a very dramatic board meeting on Wednesday night.

“He is held in the same affection by each of the board members – he is a class act. Franck doesn’t think he was given enough time and who could argue with that?

“But the fundamental priority for us has to be the football club and we felt we had to take action.

“Nobody should think that this decision was reckless one. We thought long and hard over it and had we let our hearts rule our heads we would not have been able to make this decision.

“The supporters are upset. We knew this wasn’t going to be a popular decision, but we had to make it in the best interests of the club. It would have been easier to let things go on as they were, but we felt we had to take action. There will be a lot of fans unhappy with what we have done, but we would ask the fans to look at our record over the past four years and judge us on that.”

Taken from the Scotsman

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