Saturday, May 01, 2010

Hughes is safe - for now

A few statistics to ponder in the wake of today's Edinburgh derby.

Hibs have now lost six games on the bounce. That's their worst run since 1997 when Jim Duffy was acting as the ringmaster and building up his clown circus. John Hughes might remember that, he was a Hibs player at the time.

By my reckoning that's also 11 games without a clean sheet. This is a problem Hughes has sought to solve by signing goalkeepers, three in under a year in charge. That's not worked. But fans might well wonder how a former centre half could ignore the defence in both the summer and winter transfer windows.

Here's the crucial one though. Hughes is Hibs' seventh manager since Jim Duffy was jettisoned in 1998's relegation season.

In all their financial dealings the Hibs board crave stability. My guess is they want that stability in the dugout as well.

They will be aware of how the fans feel, worried at the drop in attendances (here again the building work provides a useful smokescreen) and despair at European cash disappearing into the horizon.

For now I think that desire for stability is enough to save Hughes the chop, if not the wrath of the faithful.

It might be that he looks at the players, studies their latest capitulation and decides that he's run out of ideas.

Right now the decision is in hands. But it won't be if there's no change next season.