Hibs boss Pat Fenlon today revealed he’s still striving to strengthen his squad despite the transfer window having closed.
Deadline day saw more departures than arrivals at Easter Road, Sean O’Hanlon and David Stephens both leaving on a permanent basis and Callum Booth joining Livingston on loan for the rest of the season with only Manchester City defender Ryan McGivern coming in until January. Admitting his squad was “a bit short” in certain areas, Fenlon disclosed Hibs are continuing to talk to possible further signings but insisted he’s equally determined to ensure the likes of Sam Stanton, Ross Caldwell and Danny Handling – all three 18-year-olds on the bench for the weekend draw against Celtic – are given their chance.
He said: “We are still looking, there’s still a lot of free transfers out there at the moment and we are talking to one or two. Ryan will be a big asset to us but we are still short in some areas. Midfield is a little bit short and we’d like to strengthen there but we have some good young players coming through and we don’t want to stunt their growth.
“Financially as well we have to be very careful but we are trying to get a good balance, a good experienced team that will help the youngsters coming through.”
Meanwhile, while admitting Hibs rode their luck a bit at Celtic Park – Hoops striker Gary Hooper twice hitting the woodwork in the first half – Fenlon insisted his players deserved great credit for twice coming from behind to claim a draw believing that on hard work alone they were well worth their point.
He said: “Even going behind once there is difficult, never mind twice but we showed the character to come back which is great credit to the players.
“No doubt the two that hit the woodwork gave us a little bit of luck but we spoke at half-time that at 1-0 we were still in the game and we could nick a goal.
“I think when you work as hard as we did then that tends to give you a little bit of luck. When you don’t work as hard then normally those chances go in but the players worked really hard, as they have done since pre-season, and got their rewards.
“People have said Celtic were unlucky but we played really well in the second half, and we should be given credit for that.”
Tim Clancy cancelled out Mikael Lustig’s early opener and after Hibs skipper James McPake was credited with getting the last touch as goalkeeper Ben Williams failed to hold a Filip Twardzik free-kick, Paul Cairney weaved his way through the Celtic defence to equalise again.
The Hibs boss said: “It was a fantastic goal but Paul is a