Hibs boss says George Francomb ready for SPL scrap

George Francomb

George Francomb

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Hibs boss Pat Fenlon believes George Francomb is up for the fight after the Norwich City youngster turned his back on the easy life in England in favour of an SPL relegation scrap.

Francomb became Fenlon’s second January signing and was pitched straight into the Easter Road squad for today’s crunch clash with basement outfit Dunfermline.

But Fenlon believes it was the opportunity to aid the Edinburgh club’s battle to haul themselves out of trouble which persuaded the 20-year-old to head north.

And that, declared Fenlon, marked the youngster out as “the type of individual” he was looking for as his Easter Road revolution continued with confirmation that Junior Agogo had been freed by the club, his departure following those of Victor Palsson and Matt Thornhill this week.

Fenlon expects others to go over the course of the next few weeks, reasoning that change was necessary because what was put in place by his predecessor Colin Calderwood was clearly failing, along with the fact that he is looking to bring in his own type of player into the club.

Despite Francomb’s tender years and the fact he’s only played four games for Norwich – plus a loan spell with League One outfit Barnet – Fenlon firmly believes the youngster fits that particular bill.

He said: “The fact there were a couple of other offers in England for him and he decided to come here was great. He knows the situation he is coming into, it’s going to be a battle and a scrap.

“I think that’s the type of individual we are looking for as well as being a decent footballer, people willing to come and fight for the cause. George could easily have gone somewhere else and just played, but he has come here for a challenge which is great.”

Fenlon also revealed Francomb’s versatility – he can also play in midfield – was an attraction as he attempts to balance a tight budget with the changes he feels necessary to take Hibs forward.

He said: “There are some areas of the pitch we need to strengthen and George comes into that category. He can play right back and midfield. We are not going to be able to bring in loads of players so it’s important that the ones we do bring in can fill different positions.

“He’s probably more a right back than anything and I felt we really only had Michael Hart who is and out-and-out right back so it was important to bring someone in who can play there.

“We’d watched George a few times, spoke to people down at Norwich and he comes highly recommended.”

While Fenlon continues to work on further arrivals, he conceded there will be more departures to make that possible. He told Hibs TV: “We have spoken to players about leaving the club and they know that.

“What has been here before has not worked and if it is not going right I need to change it. I’ve felt we need to bring a different type of player in.”