Michael Stewart is convinced old club Hibernian should turn to Malky Mackay for leadership following the sacking of Lee Johnson.

Johnson was dismissed on Sunday, less than 24 hours after a 3-2 home defeat to Livingston had left the Easter Road outfit bottom of the Premiership and without a point after three league matches.

The capital outfit did produce a memorable result in the Europa Conference League when they saw off Swiss side Luzern, but a 5-0 hammering from Aston Villa in last week's play-off first-leg was another 90 minutes to forget for Johnson.

Now looking for their third manager in just 20 months - and their ninth in the last decade - the names of Neil Lennon, Derek McInnes, Scott Brown and Stephen Robinson have featured highly on the list of possible successors.

But Stewart reckons it is Ross County manager Mackay, the former Watford, Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic boss, who fits the bill for Hibs.

He said: “It’s a club [County] I really like and apologies to them for suggesting [this], but I would be looking at Malky Mackay, personally.

“He’s a guy who has managed right at the top of the game and for Hibs I think you need somebody who is a leader.

“Not somebody I would class as an old-school manager, but somebody who’s going to come in and control the football department and move it in whatever direction they see fit.

“That’s something I see Malky in the role of.

“If I was in charge I would be looking to speak to somebody like that.”

READ MORE: Lee Johnson sacked by Hibs after dire start to season

Johnson was appointed by Hibs in May last year and steered the club to fifth in the top-flight at the end of a rollercoaster season that seemed to lurch from one crisis to the next.

But, despite the Englishman having had just 15 months at the helm, Stewart is adamant the 42-year-old had run out of excuses.

Stewart, who won the League Cup with Hibs in 2007, added to the BBC: “We’re over a year into Lee Johnson’s time and I still didn’t ever see what it was they were trying to do or what the identity was.

“He’s been given probably more money than any Hibs manager in recent history.

“I had a bit of sympathy for him to begin with because it felt like the recruitment was scattergun - and I’m not sure how much of it was down to him, when he first came in.

“But January came along and it seemed like it was his guys he was getting in the door, and certainly there in the summer it seemed a little bit more sensible what they were trying to do.

“And I think there’s enough there in that squad for them to be doing a lot better than what they’re doing at the moment.

“Having said all that, defensively they’re not good enough and they’ve not really addressed that.

“They’ve conceded eight goals in the league so far - and six at home. It’s not just in an isolated game, it’s every game.

“So, yes, I do think he was given long enough and there was no real sign it was moving in the right direction.”