Alan Stubbs at Hibs for long haul, says Leeann Dempster

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Hibernian head coach Alan Stubbs and chief executive Leeann Dempster
Alan Stubbs is handling the pressure at Hibs, according to Leeann Dempster
Scottish Cup semi-final: Hibernian v Dundee United
Date: Saturday, 16 April Venue: Hampden Kick-off: 12:15 BST
Coverage: Watch on BBC One Scotland; listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Hibernian chief executive Leeann Dempster has told BBC Scotland Alan Stubbs' position as head coach is safe.

Hibs are six points behind second-placed Falkirk with two games in hand in the Scottish Championship.

Rangers have already won the division and automatic promotion, with the side finishing second entering the Premiership play-offs at a later stage.

"We've hit a dip in form," said Dempster. "Alan is supported and we're going forward."

Falkirk came back from two goals down to draw with Hibs on Tuesday evening and Stubbs' side have taken just five points from their past eight league games.

The sides finishing third and fourth will play off to decide who plays the league's runners-up in the two-legged semi-final.

The winner of that second tie will meet the team finishing second bottom of the Premiership in the final, again over two legs.

Stubbs - who was appointed in the summer of 2014 - led Hibs to a runners-up finish last season but they lost at the play-off semi-final stage to Rangers, who were beaten in the final by Motherwell.

"We're in here for the long game," said Dempster. "Alan and our team and our coaches have not become poor managers overnight.

Interview: Leeann Dempster

"We're in the Scottish Cup semi-final [against Dundee United on Saturday], we got to the League Cup final [losing to Ross County] and we can get promoted this season. We were in the Scottish Cup semi-final last year.

"We can do things this season."

Dempster praised Stubbs for helping the club pull in the same direction.

"He's keeping the dressing room positive, training is good and he's pulling us all together - that's what we need here," she said.

Hibernian forward Chris Dagnall
Hibs have struggled in recent weeks

"We've hit a poor bit of form. That's what's happened. We've actually had, up until that point, a good season so I don't want to over-dramatise things.

"People are upset, they're hurting - they don't want to be losing these games.

"But you're under pressure working at Hibernian; you're under pressure working at a football club. We're all under pressure and Alan handles that really well."

And, with a third successive season in the Championship in prospect, Dempster added: "Of course, I've looked at the possibilities.

"I'm the chief executive, I need to have a long-term plan. I need to also look at the short-term.

"But I'm not even considering that at the moment. I'm focused on promotion. We're focused on the Scottish Cup this weekend."

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