Alan STUBBS hinted that he is ready to bolster his strikeforce after Hibs were left to rue a host of missed chances in yesterday’s 1-0 defeat by Rangers.
Jason Cummings and Liam Henderson spurned the Easter Road side’s two best opportunities at Ibrox while the game was still goalless before James Tavernier’s spectacular free-kick midway through the second half won it for the hosts. Although in no mood to blame those who had been wasteful in front of goal, the head coach – who has been running the rule over English non-league forward Jamie Insall – effectively confirmed that Hibs are working towards adding at least one new striker before the transfer window closes next week.
With Farid El Alagui and James Keatings still out injured, Stubbs currently only has Cummings and Dominique Malonga to call on as established central strikers.
“Maybes ayes, maybes nos,” Stubbs smiled, when asked if he planned to add a new forward. “Wait and see.”
Stubbs fielded Henderson in an attacking role, just behind lone striker Cummings, and refused to admonish the young pair for their misses. “We have had chances and not taken them,” he said. “Our strikers may take the brunt of the headlines but they are in the right areas. If you keep getting into the right areas, you will take your chances. On another day we could have taken more.
“But when you play at big grounds in big environments against potentially one of your biggest rivals, you are lucky to get two or three chances. So you have to take one of them. The fact we created six or seven chances today, then that’s probably the disappointing thing.”
The defeat left Hibs six points behind Rangers, but Stubbs is adamant that their performance suggests they can still give the title favourites a run for their money.
“If that doesn’t give anybody heart in terms of us being very close to Rangers then I don’t know what will,” he said. “We’ve come to a packed Ibrox and contributed to the game hugely. Coming into the game, people expected it to be one-way traffic but it certainly didn’t work out that way.”
Hibs captain David Gray had to go off early in the second half with a tight hamstring. “David’s okay,” said Stubbs. “He just had a tight hamstring. Nothing’s pulled or anything – he just felt it tighten and didn’t want to risk it. He’s had a bit of a stiff back so it could be related to that but we’ll let the medical staff diagnose him. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious.”