Hibs boss Pat Fenlon will make a last-minute call on the fitness of influential pair Garry O’Connor and Isaiah Osbourne for tomorrow’s encounter with Aberdeen.
Fenlon revealed that O’Connor is struggling with a bruised foot and that Osbourne aggravated an injury in training yesterday, with the pair to be assessed today before the squad sets off for the north-east.
O’Connor, the club’s top scorer with ten goals in all competitions, and Osbourne have missed only three league games between them this season and, aside from the Old Firm and Hearts, Aberdeen are the only SPL team O’Connor is yet to score against this season.
“Ozzy picked up a little knock yesterday morning – he’s probably been carrying it for a week,” said Fenlon. “Garry O’Connor has a little bit of a knock on his foot, so we’ll see how they are today. They’re in the squad at the moment, but we’ll give them until today to see how they are.”
Hibs, joint bottom of the table with Dunfermline, can draw level on points with the ninth-place Dons if they win, although the Easter Road side’s goal difference is inferior. Fenlon recognises the opportunity to climb up the SPL quickly by stringing together a positive run of results.
He said: “I heard an interview with Danny Lennon, the St Mirren manager, who said when they were on a fantastic run people were saying they could end up in a relegation battle, then last week they were talking about getting into Europe. I think it shows you that gap outside the big two – there is very little between the teams and I think results over the season have proven that.”
Since he arrived at Hibs little more than a fortnight ago, Fenlon has braved wintry conditions on the training ground and called for a summer-centric season, as exists in his native Ireland, to be considered by those who run football in Scotland. He said: “Summer football has got to be on the agenda – it’s got to be looked at. I’ve said before that there’s a lot of positives to it and back home the pitches were a lot better – results in Europe improved immensely.”