Alan Stubbs today assured anxious Hibs fans that new signings were imminent after Ryan McGivern became the 16th player to leave Easter Road this summer.
The Northern Ireland defender’s exit – he has signed a two-year deal with English League One outfit Port Vale – has left the new Hibs head coach with only 14 first-team players, none of them goalkeepers, with the squad in its second week of pre-season training.
But while he understands the supporters’ frustration at the lack of new arrivals, Stubbs insisted it won’t be long before they begin to see signings unveiled.
He said: “We are active as we speak, we’re going through a process of elimination. As you can imagine, we’ve had a lot of players put to us, but I think over the next few days there will be faces coming in and over the next two weeks you’ll see a transformation as the squad takes shape.
“I understand how the supporters feel, but the one thing I have spoken about is that we don’t just want players for the sake of it. I want players who will improve Hibs as a football club. It would be very easy to bring players in, but they have to be as good or better than we have, to give everyone a lift. There’s nothing better at a club than competition.”
Stubbs admitted the past few days, his first as a manager in his own right, had “flown by” as he has started to get to know the players at his disposal.
He said: “It’s been great to get down to work, to get among the players and to begin letting them know what I want going forward.
“We are working on their fitness, we have to get that up to scratch, but the players have been fantastic, their attitute and application towards what we have asked them to do has been very, very good.
“They all seem very focused on what we are expecting of them this year.”
Meanwhile, Wigan first-team coach John Doolan has become the latest to be touted as Stubbs’ assistant after his first choice, David Unsworth, decided to remain at Everton where the pair had been in charge of the Under-21s.