Hibernian: John McGinn surprised by Alan Stubbs exit

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Hibernian midfielder John McGinn with his Championship Player of the Season award
John McGinn has been named Championship player of the season by sponsor Ladbrokes

John McGinn was left shocked and disappointed that Alan Stubbs decided to leave Hibernian just days after leading the club to Scottish Cup glory.

But the midfielder praised Stubbs, who has joined Rotherham United, for his work as Hibs manager and the impact he had on his own development.

"It was a surprise," McGinn told BBC Scotland after his return from France, where he was on international duty.

"It's disappointing for us he is away. He was brilliant for me personally,"

McGinn signed for Hibs last summer from St Mirren after the Paisley club joined them in the Scottish Championship following relegation.

Despite playing in Scotland's second tier, the 21-year-old's performances earned him his first Scotland cap against Denmark in March.

"It's obviously disappointing," said McGinn of Stubbs' departure, the midfielder speaking after picking up the Championship player of the season award from sponsor Ladbrokes.

"But we have a good board of directors that I'm sure will make the right choice like they did with the old gaffer.

"When you think about it, he is a manager that has had such a good impact on a club like Hibs he was always going to have people after him."

'He transformed the place'

Stubbs has moved to a club who narrowly avoided relegation from England's second tier.

Asked if he thought the Englishman had made the right decision, McGinn said: "I'm a bit biased, so I will say no.

"That's for him to decide. He says he couldn't reach the same peak as the Scottish Cup final.

John McGinn, Andrew Robertson and Ross McCormack
John McGinn (left) sat out Scotland's friendlies against Italy and France through injury

"The things he managed to do for this club have been unbelievable.

"It was on a massive downer when he arrived and he transformed the place."

Hibs will go into the new season as favourites to win the Championship.

"It was great to be involved this year and we just missed out on our main aim promotion and I'm sure the next manager will come in with a similar aim and hopefully we can achieve it this time.," said McGinn.

"If we can get this club back into the Premiership and continue to play in Europe, there is nothing this club can't achieve."

'Hungry' for more involvement with Scotland

McGinn has spent the last 10 days with the Scotland squad but due to injury failed to feature in either of the defeats by Italy and France.

However, he says the experience of watching world-class players at close call gave him food for thought about his own game.

"It's an eye-opener really," he said. "The players that were on the pitch are world-class players worth millions of pounds.

"It makes you hungry to want to be like them and learn from them and I am grateful to have been up close to it last night against France and last week against Italy."

On the player of the year award, McGinn added: "I think it just sums up the season as a whole.

"It's been a rollercoaster with a lot of ups and downs and its been a special one for me personally."

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport