By: Hibernian Media on 07 Nov, 2019 12:09
Newly-appointed Sporting Director Graeme Mathie will play a key role in the appointment of Hibernian’s next Head Coach.
Graeme talked to Hibs TV about his respect for the outgoing Paul Heckingbottom and Robbie Stockdale, while stressing that the onus is on everyone involved with the club to work together to overcome a disappointing start to the season.
Graeme, the last time you spoke it was about your excitement over your new role at Sporting Director. How do you reflect on the last few days?
Clearly, it’s been disappointing over the last couple of days and certainly not how I’d have envisaged my first couple of weeks going. First of all, I’d like to place on record my thanks to Paul and Robbie for their professionalism, for the way they engaged with all the staff and for their work at the football club over the last nine months.
No-one in here is talking about anything other than collective responsibility.
That goes for everyone within the football club and that was the conversation that we had at HTC on Tuesday. Every single person is responsible for performance. Two people have left their jobs this week but we all have to reflect. That’s part of the reason why I’m speaking now. Part of my role going forward is to lead and we need to front up when things aren’t going well. We need to be open about our reflections and we need to do what we can to make it positive.
What is your role within the recruitment process for a new Head Coach?
I’ve been involved in the previous recruitment processes. Each one has been different. Each one has included new aspects in terms of learnings from previous processes. At the moment I’m leading a number of people at the training centre to help not only consider the names that we already had on lists – which is part of the ongoing process – but to process the new names to go forward to Ron and Leeann with a shortlist of names that I think we should be giving serious consideration to. Beyond that, a strong piece of work to support those we feel should be interviewed.
You’d mentioned previously that recruitment will be assessed as well.
We did a big piece of recruitment work in the summer to look at the age profile of the squad and get a better balance. We wanted to give the club more control over contract lengths. When you bring in a number of players on loan or short-term contracts then you’re always transitioning. There is another big piece of work being done just now on recruitment. Not just in the summer but over the past five years – those that have been successful and those that haven’t worked out the way we would have hopes – so we can learn. We’re also comparing ourselves to rivals in the marketplace to make sure we’re looking in the right places for players to have a squad capable of competing at the level we want to compete at.
Leeann touched on the work ahead in the January transfer window but there will be those within the squad who haven’t done themselves justice so far.
We’ve all got the responsibility to improve performance – players, coaches, backroom staff. January gives us an opportunity to add one or two new players. Part of the reflection has shown up key moments in games when it hasn’t gone for us. I keep talking about fine lines in football and being judged on a weekly basis. Results dictate what happens over a period of time but there’s certainly been a number of games when the results could and should have been different. I don’t think we can lose sight of that. I don’t think wholesale changers are required but January certainly presents us with an opportunity to improve aspects of the squad to help turn these results in our favour. Paul and Robbie, as people, had a lot of good personal qualities that we wanted as people. They weren’t people who made excuses or came in wallowing in disappointment on a daily basis. They worked very, very hard to change little bits of information or the way they spoke to players to try and impact on results. That’s something we can all do. It has been a disappointing period of time for a lot of people, for different reasons. The training centre needs to be a positive environment because the first thing we need to do is win a game of football on Saturday. Everyone in the building needs to be focused on what they can do to impact the outcome of that game and get us closer to where we want to be.