Hibs boss has no fears of Zola recall for Andrew Shinnie

Andrew Shinnie takes on Dumbarton's Darren Barr
Andrew Shinnie takes on Dumbarton's Darren Barr
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Hibs boss Neil Lennon doesn’t expect the management change at Birmingham City to result in a recall for on-loan midfielder Andrew Shinnie.

The 27-year-old arrived at Easter Road on a season-long deal after falling out of favour under Brummies manager Gary Rowett who was sensationally axed and replaced by former Italian internationalist Gianfranco Zola earlier this week.

But Lennon, who admitted he was shocked at the sacking of Rowett only hours after a 2-1 win over Ipswich Town had taken Birmingham into seventh place in the English Championship and only three points off third, insisted he’s not anticipating the move to have an impact on Shinnie’s situation.

Lennon has been delighted with former Inverness Caley star Shinnie’s form in recent weeks, particularly at a time when fellow midfielders John McGinn and Fraser Fyvie have been ruled out for a number of weeks through injury.

Shinnie has emerged as a key figure in Hibs’ drive for the Championship title and, while Lennon would obviously not welcome an early recall to Birmingham for the player, it’s one he doesn’t believe will happen.

He said: “Andrew signed a season-long loan deal and he’s been outstanding for us in recent weeks.

“I don’t think what’s happened at Birmingham will affect us.”

The sacking of Rowett, who brought Birmingham to Easter Road for a pre-season friendly in the summer, left Lennon, who had his own bitter experience of the English Championship with Bolton Wanderers, stunned.

He said: “I thought Gary had done a brilliant job there. He didn’t have a lot of money compared to a lot of other clubs. I didn’t see that coming, I thought he had one of the safest jobs in the country. But you can’t legislate for that, it’s unbelievable

“I don’t know what is going on, I don’t know what they [Birmingham’s owners Trillion Trophy Asia Ltd] were wanting him to do.”