Former Bristol City boss ‘on the verge’ of new job at SPFL side

The popular City boss is nearing a new job, just a few months after a harsh sacking at Sunderland

<p>Lee Johnson is nearing his fifth job in management after impressing the Hibernian board. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)</p>

Lee Johnson is nearing his fifth job in management after impressing the Hibernian board. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Former Bristol City manager Lee Johnson has emerged as the strongest contender for the vacant Hibernian job.

The 40-year-old is the preferred candidate for the Hibees job with only the finishing touches needed to confirm the deal.

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Johnson has been out of work after being sacked by League One play-off finalists Sunderland following a 6-0 defeat to Bolton Wanderers in January.

The Black Cats had sat third in the League One table at the time of his sacking and had won 41 out of his 76 matches at the Stadium of Light.

He is now closing in on what will be just his fourth managerial gig in what has been a nine-year career.

A report from the Daily Record says that Johnson is ‘on the verge’ of being appointed by the Edinburgh club. He held a meeting with the clubs owner Ron Gordon and other board members and impressed them with his talks, with his appointment seemingly imminent.

Johnson has always been the favourite for the job and after exploring other options, such as former Lincoln City boss Michael Appleton and Oxford United manager Karl Robinson, but it is the former Robins man that seems to have come out on top.

In his previous four jobs, he has managed in England, but for the first time in his coaching career he is going north of the border.

He did dabble slightly into the Scottish game during his 13 year playing career, going to Hearts for a short spell after leaving Yeovil Town. He only played six times but was signed by his dad Gary at Bristol City. The former midfielder finished his career up in Scotland playing for Kilmarnock before hanging up the boots and later becoming the manager of Oldham Athletic.

Caretaker manager David Gray, formerly of Manchester United, is expected to be part of the backroom staff, but there will be room for him to add his own stamp on things.

Joining him at Easter Road will be his trusted lieutenant Jamie McAllister, who like Johnson played at City, featuring more than 200 times in a six-year spell. McAllister is from Scotland and played for Hibs’ bitterest rivals Hearts also.

At City, Johnson managed 217 games and had a win percentage of 38.7%, leading the club to a Carabao Cup semi-final as well as an eighth placed finish in 2019.

Hibs play their final match of the season on Sunday and could either finish as low as 10th or as high as eighth in the table, depending on their result against St Johnstone.