SHAUN MALONEY has been sensationally sacked as manager of Hibs after a mere four months in charge.
The 39-year-old former Scotland international midfielder only took over from the similarly-dismissed Jack Ross in December.
Maloney, though, has paid a heavy price for failing to secure a top-six place in the Premiership as well as missing out on a place in the Scottish Cup Final after Saturday’s 2-1 last-four loss to Hearts.
The ex-Celtic star left his post as Roberto Martinez’s assistant with the Belgium international team and won his first two matches in charge against Aberdeen and Dundee United.
Maloney has been without a full team of players at times through illness, injury and suspension and the club sold Australia winger Martin Boyle late in the transfer window.
In a statement, executive chairman Ron Gordon said: “Our hope in appointing Shaun Maloney as a young, highly regarded coach was that he would help us take the club forward, but ultimately that has not been the case.
“We thank Shaun and his coaching staff for all their hard work and efforts and wish them all the best for the future.”
Maloney claimed at the weekend that he knew “exactly” what was needed for his side to be able to compete with Hearts next season.
He said: “I have known for quite a while the areas where we need to be better to give us an opportunity to fight for top six, top four, Europe. I have known that from very early on.
“I have worked extremely hard with the players we have, young players, but we all have to make sure that come the summer, come pre-season, we are a lot stronger in certain areas, so that when we have performances like this, we take advantage.”
Departing along with Maloney are his former Parkhead team-mate Gary Caldwell, a one-time Hibs captain, plus Velerio Zuddas and Brian Doogan.
Former skipper David Gray will take over in an interim capacity for the remainder of the season with support from Eddie May and Jon Busch.
He was also in charge after Ross was axed just before the Premier Sports League Cup Final against Ange Posetcoglou’s Parkhead outfit in December.
The Edinburgh club led briefly after a goal from Paul Hanlon, but two quickfire strikes from Kyogo Furuhashi took the silverware to the east end of Glasgow.
Maloney was named manager shortly afterwards, but the union was very swiftly terminated this morning.