Millers set to move for Stubbs
Fresh from ending their Scottish Cup drought last weekend, Hibernian are bracing themselves for an approach from Rotherham for manager Alan Stubbs. The bookmakers have slashed the odds on the 44-year-old Englishman taking the reigns at the New York Stadium following the departure of Neil Warnock. Stubbs has recently been linked with the managerial vacancies at Blackburn and former club Bolton and Hibs now face a fight to hold on to their promising young manager.
After spending 6 years at Everton as a coach, Stubbs took his first step on the managerial ladder at Hibernian in the summer of 2014 following their relegation to the Championship. Stubbs walked into a club which was on its knees and has impressed with the rebuilding work accomplished during his two year tenure. Despite missing out on promotion again this season, Stubbs led the club to both domestic cup finals and last Saturday ended the 114-year wait to lift the Scottish Cup and in doing so wrote his name into the club's history books.
Stubbs will be acutely aware that football management is akin to a game of chess with plotting your next move to stay in the game of critical importance. As the season neared its end, Stubbs appeared wearied but the Hibs hierarchy will be hoping that the Hampden success will be the perfect pick-me-up for another tilt at promotion next term. His relationship with Chief Executive Leeann Dempster is strong and she recently spoke of her desire for him to remain in the Easter Road dugout for the "long haul."
However, with his stock high the affable Scouser may feel that the time is right to test his management skills in England. Under Warnock, Rotherham staved off relegation last term and with ambitious Chairman Tony Stewart looking to emulate the likes of Bournemouth in reaching the promised land of the Premiership, Stubbs now appears the prime target. With the Millers expected to seek permission to speak to Stubbs in the next 24 hours, Hibs will have to make their case to retain his services and this is likely to focus on bigger picture thinking.
Should Stubbs accomplish the aim of returning Hibs to the Premier League next season he will be a man in demand and it is likely that he will attract the attention of clubs of increased stature than Rotherham. Hibs will hope that in a managerial game where patience is uncommon, their manager bucks the trend.