Hibernian head coach Nick Montgomery may have shot himself in the foot by limiting the game time of experienced pros, Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson, with the Easter Road club's bottom-six fate now sealed.

Montgomery, 42, replaced Lee Johnson last September, and claimed he wanted to "bring success back" to Leith. 

However, things haven't gone to plan during his first season in charge. A late equaliser from Motherwell denied Hibs a top-six Scottish Premiership finish last weekend, and that just summed up the inconsistency and defensive fragility supporters have had to endure throughout the campaign. 

And ex-Hibs star Kevin Thomson reckons Montgomery has made a big call in leaving stalwart centre-back and captain, Hanlon, out of the starting XI. The 34-year-old has played just two minutes as a substitute from the last 11 games. 

While Stevenson, 36, has found himself in a similar position, featuring once since a 3-0 defeat against Rangers in January. Something that has perhaps cost Hibs' league finish and proved there's still a lingering "hangover" from Johnson's ill-fated tenure. 

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Speaking on the latest edition of BBC’s Scottish Football Podcast, the former midfielder recalled: “The harsh reality is it’s a real disappointment for Hibs. I have watched them a few times this year and a lot of my mates go every week. There’s a hangover a wee bit that’s carried on from Lee Johnson.

“I think there was optimism and Monty was given the time, backing, brought in some good players in January. The Achilles heel has always been the back four and he has made big calls in leaving Lewis Stevenson out, Paul Hanlon.

“Nick’s made that call and you could argue for the experience that Paul Hanlon, especially at centre-back, has got and being captain of the football club is one that might have got them over the line. Nick has made that call and unfortunately you have to suffer the consequences.

“If they don’t show up well in the bottom six and put the games to bed and be really competitive for the rest, it will be a difficult summer for everybody involved. It’s a club close to my heart. I want to see Hibs do well.”