Shaun Maloney admits he is disappointed he was not given time to develop Hibernian into a team challenging for domestic honours again.

The 39-year-old was sacked on Monday after just four months in charge of the Scottish Premiership club.

It came after the Easter Road club failed to secure a top-six finish in the league and exited the Scottish Cup to Edinburgh rivals Hearts.

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In a statement the former Scotland international said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to be the manager of Hibernian, a club with such a proud and distinguished history.

“I am disappointed not to have had the time to move the club forward to a position where we could consistently challenge the top teams in the country for domestic honours and European football.

“It was my deepest desire to be able to deliver for the fans a team of which they could feel proud and inspired by.

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Shaun Maloney was sacked after just four months at Easter Road

“Even though the pain of our defeat last weekend remains raw, I was convinced all the more by the nature of the performance and the desire we showed even when reduced to ten men that, given time, we would have achieved this.

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“From day one, the players have been a real pleasure to work with and I am grateful for their enthusiasm and commitment to my coaching ideas.

“To the fans, I can only say that I wish I had been able to make you happier more often. I wish you and the team every success in the future.”

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Former Hibs captain David Gray will take charge until the end of the season

Maloney’s backroom staff of Gary Caldwell, Valerio Zuddas and Brian Doogan also left the club, with former skipper David Gray in interim charge for the remainder of the season, with support from Eddie May and Jon Busch.

Ron Gordon: We gave him time

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Hibernian owner Ron Gordon says he has learned a lesson after taking a ‘risk’ by appointing Shaun Maloney

Hibernian owner Ron Gordon says he believes in continuity despite insisting that four months was ample time for Maloney to prove himself as manager.

Gordon argued the first team were heading in the wrong direction under the former Celtic winger after winning only once in the league in 2022.

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Highlights of Maloney’s last Scottish Premiership match as Hibs lost to Hearts

“We have been concerned about performances over the past couple of months,” he said in an online media conference.

“We have had lots of conversations with people at the club, including board members, and we had a special board meeting on Monday. We came to the conclusion, fairly decisively, that we needed to make a change.

“When you look at the results, it’s just really not acceptable for a club like Hibs.

“I have absolutely no doubt that we gave him enough time for us to see the kind of performance. The 19 games he managed, we saw some good, some not so good. I think we gave him plenty of time.

“There was risk and I expected bumps but I didn’t quite expect the slide. We are not headed in the right direction.”

‘Maloney experiment didn’t work’

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Former Hibernian player Kevin Harper reacts to the news that Maloney was sacked by the Easter Road club

Maloney has been without a full team of players at times through illness, injury and suspension and the club sold Australia winger Martin Boyle late in the transfer window.

However, he claimed on Saturday he knew “exactly” what was needed for his side to be able to compete with Hearts next season.

Former Hibernian winger Kevin Harper admits he was shocked by Maloney’s sacking but understands why the club’s chairman made the decision.

He told Sky Sports News: “Four months in a job is a really short period of time, he probably deserved a little bit more time but I understand where he (Ron Gordon) is coming from.

“We have been beaten by our local rivals, we haven’t made the top six, he’s only won one game since the turn of the year.

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Former Hibernian striker Stuart Lovell believes the Easter Road club were too quick to sack Maloney as he takes a look at who could be his replacement

“It takes time to change and put your methods across, but you also have to remember football is about winning games and if you don’t then the pressure from the fans and upstairs increases.

“In the statement Ron Gordon’s put out he’s said it was an experiment and I think by that he is taking responsibility for an experiment that didn’t work.

“For me they will look at an experienced manager but I don’t think they will have a candidate in mind.

“I think that’s why David Gray is in until the end of the season, they will take stock and reassess and try and make sure the next appointment is the right one for the club moving forward.”

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