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Hibs chief executive Ben Kensall backs Shaun Maloney

BEN KENSALL, the Hibernian chief executive, says it will take time for Shaun Maloney’s grand plan to come to fruition at Easter Road – but insists the team are heading in the right direction on the former Scotland internationalist’s watch.

Maloney, who was previously serving as Roberto Martinez’s assistant with the Belgian national team, replaced Jack Ross in December and got off to strong start with back-to-back wins in his first two games.

A slump in form followed but last weekend’s comfortable 3-1 victory over Championship table-toppers Arbroath in the Scottish Cup saw Hibs brush their opponents aside with minimal fuss.

The Leith club were irresistible at times as they attacked and Kensall reckons this serves as evidence that the squad are getting used to the new manager’s preferred style of play.

And while Maloney’s Hibs aren’t the finished product, he believes the green shoots of progress are clear to see.

“We had a very clear specific criteria and we wanted a certain playing style that was possession-based and attack-minded,” Kensall told the club’s website.

“Shaun, for me, is a young, progressive, dynamic coach and a real deep thinker around the game. He’s a great mix of that elite coaching experience, but also has that hunger determination to be successful in his own right.

“As a manager, I genuinely believe it’s a really positive, promising appointment. But obviously we need to give it time and he needs to get our support.

“To work with Shaun has been fantastic. But to get to accelerate and understand him and the way that we work as a club, has been a good exercise. We’ve had some difficult times. We’ve had some difficult results, but none of us are shying away from that and we all want to win.

“I’m a football fan myself and I want to win. We know that the fans want to win every game possible, but we also know that we’re on a bit of a journey here.

“The word ‘transition’ has been used a lot, but you can’t call it anything else. It’s a process and I’m very, very confident that people are starting to see the green shoots and the signs of Shaun’s sort of playing philosophy, style coming through and the players really adapting to that.”

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