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Hibernian owner Ron Gordon declared Lee Johnson “the perfect candidate” to lead the club back towards the top end of Scottish football.

The Easter Road club sacked both Jack Ross and Shaun Maloney during a disappointing campaign in which they finished eighth in the cinch Premiership.

Hibs have now turned to Johnson, with the former Sunderland and Bristol City boss appointed on a four-year contract on Thursday.

“We cast a wide net to find a credible and qualified candidate to lead our club and unanimously our group came to the conclusion that Lee Johnson was the ideal candidate,” said Gordon.

“He was the most experienced candidate with over 450 games as a manager.

“He had the highest winning record, scoring lots of goals. And there was a really good cultural fit in terms of the kind of football he’s going to bring: attacking, modern, front-foot football. He brings a track record of success at almost every club he’s been at.”

Gordon has been criticised by supporters after Hibs lost their way following their third-placed finish a year ago.

But the owner is adamant that the club is still in good fettle despite their recent under-performance and is confident Johnson will bring the stability he has been craving.

“I think the club is moving in a positive direction on many fronts but our instability on the management side is probably the thing I’m most disappointed in,” he said. “We’ve been very diligent in our efforts to find the right candidate.

“I really feel we’ve done our homework. We’ve heard from supporters. You never make them all happy but we’ve had some great support for Lee, as well as some naysayers.

“It doesn’t matter what we do, we’re always going to have the naysayers. I can tell you unequivocally that for us, particularly the committee that did the search, Lee was the ideal candidate, the perfect candidate for us.

“I’m not going to get everything right, we’ve had some bumps along the way. Sometimes the supporters are critical of what we’re doing, which is their right, but that (criticism) has probably been the most difficult part (of running a football club) for me.

“To achieve success in any walk of life is not easy. Football is particularly difficult because you have 11 other players trying to get in your way.

“But ultimately I do think the club is heading in the right direction and we’re doing a lot of things right. Today’s appointment of Lee is an important step in that direction.”