Alan Stubbs last night expressed his satisfaction at the appointment of John Doolan as his assistant manager at Hibernian, with the new coaching team getting off to a winning start in a pre-season friendly against Vale of Leithen.
Two goals from Jason Cummings and further strikes from Liam Craig and Alex Harris gave the Edinburgh side a 4-0 win yesterday, with Doolan joining Stubbs in the dugout having agreed terms with the club earlier in the afternoon. The 45-year-old left a coaching position at Wigan Athletic to join Stubbs, with the pair having worked together previously at Everton.
Indeed, their relationship goes back the best part of three decades to their formative years in Merseyside. "He was first-team coach at Wigan and has taken the opportunity to come here, so that is a massive coup,"said Stubbs. "John is a young up and coming coach, with fresh ideas that are on the same page as mine.
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"We grew up on the next street to each other, but this is a professional appointment, not the appointment of a friend. I know he is a great coach."
The focus of Hibs supporters yesterday also fell on new faces on the pitch, with Stubbs fielding two trialists against the Lowland League side. Adam Buxton, who was released by Wigan in the close season, impressed at right-back during the first-half while former Liverpool youngster Nathan Burke was fielded at the heart of midfield after the break.
"I thought they were okay, they did what was asked of them," said Stubbs. "We will keep monitoring them and if there is a positive outcome, then great."
Stubbs is optimistic of adding to his threadbare squad quickly, although Hibs still had more than enough to defeat Vale of Leithen. Cummings scored his first goal after half an hour and scored his second after 59 minutes, slotting into an empty net after Sam Stanton's initial shot was saved.
The Championship side continued to dominate the match and added to their tally in the second half with goals from Craig and Harris.