PAT Fenlon today admitted he runs the risk of Liam Craig shooting down Hibs just as ex-Easter Road star Ivan Sproule did when he faced his old team-mates for the first time.
St Johnstone midfielder Craig, pictured, will join the Capital outfit in the summer having signed a pre-contract deal during the January transfer window but he has vowed to do all he can to help steer the Perth outfit to victory in Monday night’s SPL clash.
Fenlon failed in a bid to tempt Saints to let the 26-year-old make an early exit from McDiarmid Park but was turned down, opening the way for Craig to add to the seven goals he’s scored against Hibs over the course of the past two seasons.
Joking at how Sproule claimed the only goal of the game for Ross County a couple of weeks ago, the Hibs boss said: “It’s bound to happen. How many times do you see it when players leave or whatever and they end up coming back to haunt you a little bit.”
Being “haunted” by a player who has yet to pull on a green-and-white shirt would certainly be a different twist but Fenlon insisted that, as yet, he has no control over Craig and fully expects him to live up to his promise to give his all for Steve Lomas’ side between now and the end of the season.
He said: “I don’t think it’s an issue at all, to be honest. It’s done and dusted, everyone knows where is he so he just gets on with his game and we get on with ours.
“We can have a little bit of an impact to make sure he does not score, but it does pop up from time to time.”
By approaching St Johnstone to ask if they would consider letting Craig make an early move to Edinburgh was perhaps a sign Fenlon would rather have him in his side than playing against Hibs. However, he adopted a philosophical approach to the rebuff he’d received.
He said: “We made an enquiry to see what the availability was and that was it. It is up to them, he is their player, We accept that and move on. He is not a Hibs player at the moment so the less said about him the better for everyone’s sake.
“Let the game go and let him play. We will try to do our best to make sure he is on the losing side.”
Asked if he was conscious of the goal threat Craig might pose given his record against Hibs, Fenlon replied: “I am more conscious of the fact he is not my player. I don’t really want to discuss him. It’s all about how we can win the game. All I am interested in working on at the moment is how we can win the football match.
“Anything else is outside my control. We just have to make sure we go and do our business on the night.”