'I loved every minute' - Johnson

Lee Johnson has backed Hibs to have a successful season, highlighting the "belief" he has in the current squad.

Johnson was sacked last week, following a third league defeat from three games which left Hibs rooted to the bottom of the Scottish Premiership, but says he "loved every minute of his time in the capital.

“I would like to thank the Gordon family for giving me the opportunity to manage this historic club, with a special mention to the late Ron Gordon, who was a great loss to us all,” Johnson said in a statement released by the League Managers Association.

“I have loved every minute of my time in Edinburgh and in the Scottish Premiership, which is an intense and challenging league but extremely fulfilling for a manager to be involved in.

“I would also like to thank the staff, who I worked closely with throughout my time at Hibs, who are passionate about the club and are always supportive of the players and backroom staff.

“Last season was a transitional season for Hibs, but I was so proud of the successes we enjoyed together as a group. Beating Hearts and Celtic at Easter Road, after a number of times of asking, were wonderful moments. Experiencing the fans’ rendition of ‘Sunshine on Leith’ after those big results was fantastic!

“To improve on the 2021-22 league position, finish the season in fifth place and secure the opportunity to play in Europe was crucial.

“The whole squad really embraced our ethos and the hard work in training was undoubtedly showing on the pitch, especially the performances and form post SPFL split and across both fixtures against Luzern, which was possibly the best result in Europe in over 20 years, setting up a lucrative tie against Aston Villa.

“The first three games of the domestic season didn’t go as planned. It was very disappointing given the work the players, coaching staff and I had put in to prepare the squad for an intense start to the season.

“However, there have been such small margins that have cost us and the congested fixture list left our performances a bit flat at times. I believe it is only a matter of time before this team moves up the league and starts competing for European places. I have a lot of belief in this squad.”