RYAN McGIVERN today hailed the extension of hot-shot Leigh Griffiths’ loan deal at Easter Road as “brilliant news,” claiming the striker’s goals can spark a renewed Hibs charge at the top of the SPL table.
While delighted to be staying on himself until the end of the season, the Northern Ireland defender believes persuading Wolves to allow Griffiths to complete what, effectively, will be two years on loan with the club he’s supported all his life, will be key to Hibs bid for a place in Europe.
Griffiths has claimed 14 goals so far and as the top flight swings back into action following a short winter break, McGivern conceded to have lost the 22-year-old Scotland star would have put a “big dent” in Pat Fenlon’s squad.
The on-loan Manchester City stopper said: “Sparky is our top goalscorer this season, probably our main asset, although he is here on loan. Had we lost him, it would have put a big dent in the squad and they’d have been big boots to fill.
“But thankfully, Wolves have let him stay on. The good thing is he wanted to stay as well, so it is good news for everyone.”
McGivern revealed he also wanted to spend the rest of the season with Hibs, having found a “home from home” at Easter Road, admitting he hadn’t wanted to go during the current transfer window having left the job half done.”
Having finished last season in second bottom place, Fenlon’s revamped squad have taken everyone by surprise to currently lie just two points off second top, a position McGivern believes could have been even better had some points not been too readily squandered.
However, he believes Fenlon’s players are now ready for a renewed assault with the teams immediately ahead of them, Inverness Caley and Motherwell, very much in their sights.
He said: “I feel we could have been sitting a bit higher with a few more points, but it is only half-time in the season and if we get our heads down, sort out a few little errors then we have a great chance of being right up there. I think we should see our target as being at least a top-three finish.”