LIAM CRAIG has earned a ringing endorsement of his captaincy so far as he prepares for the honour of leading Hibs out against the side he spent six years with this weekend.
Terry Butcher named Craig as club captain when he took over as manager last month and team-mate Scott Robertson revealed his new skipper has taken the role in his stride.
Craig earned a summer move to Hibs on the back of a fruitful period at St Johnstone in which he made almost 200 appearances and scored over 30 goals.
This Saturday’s Easter Road clash will be the first time he has played against Saints while wearing the captain’s armband.
Robertson said: “He was obviously a St Johnstone player for a long time and he has had a lot of good memories from his time there but he has got the interests of Hibs at heart now.
“It’ll be nice for him to face them in front of his home crowd as captain of Hibs and I am sure it will be a really proud moment for him. Liam has been a great appointment as captain.
“He seems to be enjoying the added responsibility and all of the other little bits and pieces that you never have to even think about unless you’re captain. He’s not changed as a person, he’s still as funny and loud as he was before – he certainly hasn’t calmed down anyway!”
Meanwhile Butcher believes that James Collins can do the same job for Hibs that Billy McKay has done for Inverness.
Collins struggled to find his feet after signing from Swindon Town for £200,000 in the summer but now has three goals to his name – and is desperate to bag more.
Butcher has been impressed by his work rate and sees similarities between him and on-form Inverness hitman McKay in terms of his workrate.
Butcher said: “I can see a difference in him from when he first came, but that is because we are playing a way that probably suits him better, no disrespect to what has gone on before. But the way we play, we like to get the ball forward.
“We liked Billy McKay to work hard – not just to score goals, but also his work outside the box is tremendous. “And James will do that too – he is an honest boy. He works his socks off. You think sometimes he has three lungs instead of two because he covers that much ground. He is very effective. “The unfortunate thing is we want him to be in the middle when he crossed the ball, which is physically impossible unless you are Billy Whizz.”