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Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Monday, 8 June 2009 15:49 UK

Hughes appointed Hibernian boss


Hughes relishing dream job

Hibernian have appointed John Hughes as their new manager following the departure of Mixu Paatelainen.

Hughes leaves Falkirk, where he was boss for over six years, after a season in which he avoided relegation and guided them to the Scottish Cup final.

"John has signed a three-year contract. We expect that Brian Rice will join at the club as his assistant," chairman Rod Petrie told the Hibs website.

"John will galvanize everyone connected with Hibs and drive the club forward."

Hughes, 44, played for the Edinburgh club between 1996 and 2000, after joining from Celtic.

New Hibernian manager John Hughes
Hughes spent four seasons at Easter Road as a player

At Falkirk, his first managerial position, he had to operate on a tight financial leash but was able to get them promoted to the Scottish Premier League in 2005.

The club has remained in the top flight since then, and will play in Europe next season thanks to their Scottish Cup run.

Petrie said their new man was the best from a number of "exceptional candidates" who were in the frame for the position at Easter Road.

He added: "John Hughes was the unanimous choice of the board not for his exploits as a former player, but for his credentials as a manager, his style of football and his potential to bring success to the club on the field of play.

"The board will never lose sight of the requirement for Hibernian FC to be competing for honours and we see John as the ideal candidate to achieve this."

I would not have accepted the job if I did not think that I could make a real difference and be successful

Hibernian manager John Hughes

The former defender has never hidden his ambition to eventually move on from the Falkirk Stadium, but he often added he felt that his future lay in England.

Hughes said of his new appointment: "This is a very proud day for me. I am delighted to be the manager of Hibernian.

"Everyone knows what Hibernian means to me. I have so much respect for the club and its supporters that I would not have accepted the job if I did not think that I could make a real difference and be successful.

"It is important to me that the Board have identified that it is my managerial ability, and not my history as a Hibernian player, as the reason I have been appointed."

After spending over a decade at Falkirk as a player and manager he also wanted to express his gratitude to his former club.

"I have great affection for Falkirk FC and would like to thank everyone connected with that club for the fantastic opportunity they gave me to cut my teeth as a manager.

Interview - Hibernian chairman Rod Petrie

"My future now lies with Hibernian and I believe I will bring innovation and an attractive style of passing football to the club.

"I can't wait to start working with the players and get down to business at the training centre."

George Craig, managing director of Falkirk told his club's website: "John has been an inspirational manager and we thank him for all he has done for the club.

"We are sorry to see him leave but pleased for John on a personal level that he is joining a club which means so much to him."

Hughes' predecessor Paatelainen lasted only 16 months in the Hibernian hot seat, leaving by mutual consent at the end of May.

BBC Scotland believes one of the reasons for Paatelainen's departure was the board's proposal to reduce the playing budget for next season.

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see also
Falkirk name May as new manager
23 Jun 09 |  Falkirk
Paatelainen parts with Hibernian
29 May 09 |  Hibernian
Hibs braced for more player bids
21 May 09 |  Hibernian

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