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Dempster sets target of end of November to appoint new head coach

Hibernian chief executive Leeann Dempster set a target of the end of November to appoint a new head coach as she vowed to cast the net wide.

Hibs sacked Paul Heckingbottom on Monday after going 10 Ladbrokes Premiership games without victory and losing 5-2 to Celtic in the Betfred Cup semi-finals.

Former St Mirren manager Jack Ross has been installed as clear favourite but Dempster is keen to make the recruitment process as thorough as possible.

Dempster told Hibs TV: “It’s a relatively wide net at the moment. We’ve got a good process and added a few different layers to that. We have to go through properly and methodically and make the considerations.

“There is no outstanding front-runner for example, we are very open-minded in terms of the individual we are looking for.

“We will take as much time as we need to get that appointment right but we would like to think we will have someone in place certainly by the end of the month, that would be a loose target.”

Dempster will lead the search with assistance from recently-appointed sporting director Graeme Mathie and support from owner Ron Gordon.

“That’s my job at the club, I have to sometimes take these decisions and I’m the person that ultimately has to pull this together but supported by a brilliant team,” she said.

“It’s not going to be just me on my own, it’s going to be a big team effort as it has been before and we have some fantastic people behind the scenes who can help us with elements of things which we are perhaps not so strong at, some data and whatever.

“But it will be myself, Graeme and Ron at the front of it.”

Dempster insisted action was necessary to ensure the club’s recent on-field progress continued.

The former Motherwell chief executive said: “Let’s be honest, we are not anywhere near where we want to be.

“We don’t just want to be a top-six club, we want to be competing in Europe, so the series of results we have had is not going to get us in that position. So let’s not kid ourselves on.

“We need to try and improve. We have made masses of investment in the football department over the last four or five years and we want to keep the momentum going. We don’t want to be going backwards in terms of results.

“You could argue that elements of it have been luck, fine lines etc, but we need to win games.”

Meanwhile, United States-based Gordon poked fun at his ‘Invisible man’ nickname but insisted he remained engaged with the club on a daily basis.

“It’s always good when the Invisible Man makes an appearance, so I’m happy to be here although it’s been a difficult week,” he said.

Gordon added: “I consider myself one of the top supporters for the club, I am engaged every day in things that are going on in the club and I am very in tune to the games.

“I may not be here all the time but I am certainly aware of everything that’s going on, or certainly try to be. This is not an investment that was made to not be involved.”

However, he is happy to let Dempster and Mathie “run the show” in terms of the football side.

“We have a very strong leadership in Leeann and Graeme and I think my role is to let them do what they do best and be there to support them,” he added.