Nick Montgomery wants Hibs star to 'take on mantle' of Lewis Stevenson and Paul Hanlon

Nick Montgomery has stressed that change is a good thing despite the Hibs exits of Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson being emotional.

The pair are Hibees legends after being part of the Scottish Cup winning squad that beat Rangers to end 114 years of hurt in that competition, with Stevenson being the only man in the club's history to have won both major domestic cups. They have over 1,100 appearances and 39 years of service between them.

Montgomery says the decision was jointly made between the club and two players and while it may be an emotional moment when they move on, tough calls have to be made to help them progress. The Englishman is looking to implement new ideas at Easter Road and says people need to be open to change.

He said: "Paul and Lewis have been great servants to the club and they will leave with every blessing from myself and the club. They’ll always have a place back at this club, they are legends of the club, and they’ll no doubt go on to the next chapter of their lives and I’m sure part of it is exciting.

“And for us as a club, there is a lot of change coming. You just have to move on because tomorrow is another day in football.

“It was a club decision in conjunction with the players as well. Discussions were going on and we felt it was the right decision and we move forward. Change is difficult, it’s uncomfortable, people are sometimes resistant to change but change is also good, it’s a really good thing, a really positive thing moving forward.”

The duo are the type that have set standards at the capital club and the manger now wants people like Chris Cadden to take that on.

He added: “The key now is that we have some boys who have been here for a while, like Chrissy Cadden for example, and they have to now carry on that mantle of being a Hibs player and understanding what the club’s about.

“You have to bring players in and tell them very much from the start what the club’s about and what they need to expect and we need players coming into this club who can cope with the pressure and expectation of playing for a club like Hibs.

“Look at Myziane Maolida, for example, he came in January and he’s now top scorer of the team and Emiliano Marcondes is another player who has really got himself close to the fans because of their effort.

“It’s my job to make sure every player coming in knows what the club’s about and possibly that’s not been the case before, hence the huge amount of players we have out on loan.

“Some are possibly for development reasons and some possibly because they’ve maybe not been able to handle the pressure of playing for a big club. We know we need to focus now on having a strong first-team squad, making sure we’ve got the strongest team possible on the park and on the bench.”