Terry Butcher’s trio of January transfer window signings face a battle to force their way into his team with the current squad determined to hold onto their places, the Hibs boss revealed today.
Butcher snapped up Arsenal defender Daniel Boateng, Notts County frontman Danny Haynes and Sunderland winger Duncan Watmore hours ahead of the deadline, insisting the new arrivals would add a mixture of “experience, youth, pace and strength” to his squad.
But he insisted those already at Easter Road have shown they’re not ready to simply let their new team-mates walk into the side without a fight.
Butcher said: “I think the players that are here have already responded very well. They have upped the tempo and work-rate seeing these players, trying to impress them and trying to say to me ‘You brought them in, but I want to play’ so that’s very good.
“I looked at the squad now and began writing down all the different players in different positions and it looks a lot better.”
While Tim Clancy has left Hibs by mutual consent and Rowan Vine joined Morton, Butcher disclosed that two players who had appeared on the periphery of his plans, Tom Taiwo and Abdellah Zoubir, are now very much back in contention after they were brought in from the cold to face Celtic in a patched-up Hibs side hit by injuries and suspension.
He said: “Tom and Abdellah have very much pushed themselves to the fore when, perhaps, they were not in that position before that game. They have trained very well, everyone has trained very well and wants to be a part of what we are doing which is great.”
Hibs’ East of Scotland side clocked up a 4-0 win over Burntisland Shipyard despite having centre-half Bob Wilson sent off in the first few minutes of the game, their goals coming from Jamie Beaton, Taylor Hendry, Scott Martin and Ryan Baptie (penalty).