Fringe Hibs players ‘can leave if chance arises’

Alan Stubbs doesn't want to see any of his players leave in January but won't stand in the way should fringe players crave first-team football. Pic: PA
Alan Stubbs doesn't want to see any of his players leave in January but won't stand in the way should fringe players crave first-team football. Pic: PA
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Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs today revealed he won’t stand in the way of his fringe players seeking first-team football should the opportunity to leave the club in January arise.

With competition rife throughout the squad as the Easter Road outfit target a return to the top flight either as league champions or through the play-offs, some first-team members have found game time hard to come by in the Championship this season.

A 12-match unbeaten run in the league that has seen Hibs close the gap on leaders Rangers to just three points, has given Stubbs little reason to make any wholesale changes to his starting XI most weeks.

Stubbs has already sent young midfielders Scott Martin and Alex Harris out on loan to Forfar and Queen of the South respectively and in pre-season said that he wouldn’t stand in the way of players such as Sam Stanton and Danny Handling leaving the club in search of regular game-time. Stanton hasn’t featured for Hibs since the start of October, while Handling is recovering for a cruciate knee ligament injury.

Stubbs accepts there will be a sense of frustration felt by those individuals who aren’t involved and said: “We’re not looking at anybody leaving in January, but, in the back of my mind, I think we’ll have a discussion or two with some of the players this month, if not the players themselves then their agents and speak about what we have in mind for them going forward.

“But for me that’s just a normal conversation. If someone is adamant they want to play then I wouldn’t stand in anyone’s way. I’d like them to stay and fight for their place but if they’re telling me they want to go, then it’s not a problem.”