Former Oxford United manager Michael Appleton has suggested a lack of ambition was the reason he didn’t take reins at Hibs – after being on the brink of replacing Neil Lennon.

Hibs then turned to Paul Heckingbottom and Appleton has spoken about the reason for the breakdown in talks with Sky Sports.

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 17: Former West Bromwich Albion player Michael Appleton is interviewed pitch side as part of the BBC Football Focus coverage during the Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round between West Bromwich Albion and Southampton at The Hawthorns on February 17, 2018 in West Bromwich, England.

(Photo by Adam Fradgley – AMA/WBA FC via Getty Images)

Appleton didn’t go into much detail but did say he’d look for a club with the “same ambitions” as he does.

“I think if I answer that honestly and truthfully, I would probably come across as being arrogant and disrespectful, which is a million miles away from the truth,” he told Sky Sports.

“I think from my point of view, I will continue to look for the right thing for me, whether that is to go in somewhere as an assistant manager or a manager.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03: Leicester City manager Claude Puel and Leicester City assistant manager Michael Appleton prior to kick off of the Premier League match between Leicester City and Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on February 3, 2018 in Leicester, England.

(Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

“(I will) look for that club that shares the same ambitions that I have got myself.”

Appleton’s comments leave more questions than answers and leaves Leeann Dempster in an awkward position.

Unless Appleton has had ambitions to win the title in the next few years then Dempster should maybe speak out.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 16: Paul Heckingbottom (C) Manager of Hibernian FC and assistant Robbie Stockdale (R) take their seat in the dugout for the first time before the Ladbrokes Premiership match between Hibernian and Hamilton Academical at Easter Road on February 16, 2019 in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

(Photo by Callum Landells/Getty Images)

There’s no reason a club the size of Hibs shouldn’t at least be challenging for trophies on a regular basis.

With the right squad – and a healthy bit of luck – they might even be able to push Celtic sometimes.

Aiming for anything else is just short-changing the fans.

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