ALAN STUBBS expects some Hibs players to leave Easter Road in search of more regular game time this summer.
The head coach is busy streamlining his squad and will allow anyone who is not guaranteed regular involvement to depart, if they wish. He has already held “honest” conversations with those in question and informed them of his stance. They will be allowed to leave either on loan or by having their contract terminated by mutual consent, as occurred with striker Franck Dja Djedje recently.
However, Stubbs insists he has no problem with any of his fringe men choosing to remain at Hibs and fight for their place.
“There may be some movement in terms of players going out,” he told the Evening News.
“I always try to be as honest as possible with them. With some players, I can’t guarantee them a place in the starting line-up.
“They may want to play in a team where they’re going to play week in, week out and, with some of them, I can’t guarantee them that. That’s just me trying to be fair with them. If players are okay with that situation then I’m happy for them to stay and fight for their place. Obviously, I’ve brought in players and I’m trying to make the squad as competitive as possible.”
Academy graduates Sam Stanton, Danny Handling and Alex Harris – prior to his loan spell at Dundee – all struggled to command regular starts under Stubbs last season. Stanton is known to be assessing his options.
Ipswich Town are reported to be showing an interest in taking Hibs talisman Scott Allan to Portman Road. Rangers and Celtic have been heavily linked with the playmaker, and now Mick McCarthy’s team, who have just raked in £8 million from the sale of Tyrone Mings, appears to have joined the chase.
Stubbs stated last week that the club are under no pressure to sell, while the player himself indicated that he is willing to see out the final year of his contract. Allan spent two-and-a-half years with West Bromwich Albion before joining Hibs last summer and has said previously that he feels he has unfinished business in England.
Meanwhile, Hibs were today set to learn their Petrofac Training Cup first-round opponents, with the draw taking place at 2.30pm at St Mirren Park. Hibs are in the South Section, so their possible opponents include Rangers, St Mirren, who are now managed by former Easter Road captain Ian Murray, and near-neighbours Edinburgh City, who are making their debut in the competition by virtue of winning last season’s Lowland League. The first-round ties are scheduled to be played on Saturday, July 25.
Hibs, who are expected to go abroad for a pre-season training camp early next month, are also hopeful of adding an Easter Road friendly to a schedule that already includes away matches against Berwick Rangers (July 14), Dunfermline Athletic (July 18) and Ayr United (July 21).