Hibs boss Alan Stubbs has praised the honesty of Easter Road kid John McGinn for admitting he was running out of steam during the closing stages of the club’s League Cup demolition of Premiership strugglers Dundee United.
Fans feared the midfield powerhouse had picked up an injury as he was replaced by Darren McGregor, prompting a reshuffle in the home side’s ranks, but today Stubbs revealed it was no more than a touch of tiredness and that the 20-year-old will be okay to face his former club St Mirren In Paisley this afternoon.
Wednesday night’s cup tie was McGinn’s 17th match of the season, 15 of them for Hibs and the other two as captain of Scotland’s Under-21 side, a role he’ll resume again on Friday as the young Scots face Ukraine in their latest European Championship qualifying match.
McGinn had given everything for Hibs as he turned in a man-of-the match performance in the 2-1 Championship win over Rangers only four days earlier and the fact Hibs were 2-0 up thanks to goals from David Gray and Jason Cummings made the decision to take him off easier for Stubbs who said: “John is so honest that he would just carry on [if injured], but he was just making us aware he was feeling tired at that stage and I’m glad he did tell us. He has had a lot of games recently, not just with ourselves but Scotland as well.
“Because he has been so important, we have played him and his performances have been at a really high level so I think the least we could do was afford him a wee rest.
“He wouldn’t have complained if I’d told him to carry on – and had it been 1-0 I would probably have told him to get on with it. But that’s a good sign of him knowing his body and how sensible he is as a footballer.
“On a serious note, that’s why we use heart rate monitors. Things like that indicate where they are and if they are running a higher risk of getting injured. But the biggest indicator of that is the player himself knowing his own body.”