Pat Fenlon has insisted Shefki Kuqi did make an impact at Easter Road, despite the veteran striker starting only two matches for Hibs and not featuring at all during the final four months of the season.
The Finnish forward was a surprise summer signing by Fenlon, given he was due to turn 36 just months after arriving in Edinburgh but despite his age Kuqi had made 49 appearances for English League One outfit Oldham the previous season, scoring 16 goals.
However, Kuqi found first-team action harder to come by at Easter Road. Twelve of his 14 games in a green-and-white shirt came as he stepped from the bench. His first start did not come until the ill-fated League Cup clash with Second Division leaders Queen of the South and Kuqi had to wait five months before starting another match, a 0-0 SPL draw against Aberdeen.
That appearance at Pittodrie on January 27 was to prove to be Kuqi’s last appearance for Hibs, but while admitting the much-travelled hitman didn’t play as full a part as he would have liked on the pitch, Fenlon revealed he’d brought all the experience he’d gained at clubs such as Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich Town, Blackburn Rovers, Crystal Palace, Swansea City, Derby County and Newcastle United – not to mention his 61 international caps – to bear behind the scenes.
The Hibs boss said: “Shefki was different class. In relation to playing he would think he didn’t play enough, but off the pitch he used all the experience he had to help the likes of youngsters like Danny Handling and Ross Caldwell.
“Shefki was very helpful to a lot of people, a very good professional.”