ALAN STUBBS today revealed he hopes his Easter Road budget can be stretched to enable him to make Lewis Toshney his tenth signing.
As the Evening News exclusively disclosed, the 22-year-old former Celtic defender has been training with Stubbs’ squad for more than a week after failing to win a contract with Capital rivals Hearts.
Toshney, who has spent spells on loan with Kilmarnock and Dundee, has impressed the Hibs head coach, who would see him as providing further competition in central defence and cover for right back David Gray. Stubbs said: “Lewis has been in this week and it is a conversation I will have and see whether we can explore it. Obviously, we have a budget. If we can do something we will try to do something.
“If we can’t, we can’t. It’s quite a simple one really. We know we have a budget, every club has one. I will ask the question and see where it goes.” Whether or not he is successful in that regard, Stubbs declared himself satisfied with the signings he has made, Dylan McGeouch, Jake Sinclair and Dominique Malogna arriving during the international break to join Gray, Farid El Alagui, Mark Oxley, Liam Fontaine, Matty Kennedy and Scott Allan. He said: “I think my signings have been good, very good in fact. I am going to say that, but I believe it. I feel we have made the group stronger and I think they have performed well but overall we need to be even better, the standards we are looking to set. No-one knows that more than me. We know we need to do better, the players know that now otherwise, as I have said, I will make changes.
“This is a massive club with a great support. Football doesn’t stand still and I am not prepared for players to perform when it suits them.
“They have to perform now and we have to be able to get results as soon as possible and get ourselves into the position we know we should be.”
Having had ten days with his players without the distraction of a match since that “unacceptable” performance against Alloa Athletic which resulted in a third straight Championship defeat, Stubbs firmly believes he can strike the balance between wanting a team playing entertaining, open football and one which will prove hard to beat.
He said: “When you try to play an expansive game, when you lose the ball you are vulnerable. We have looked at the situation and have expressed to the players about when we do not have the ball. We’ve had discussions about it, identifying things that we might not be doing as well as we could be. I think our performances have been good without necessarily getting the rewards but we are maybe going to have to win some games by rolling up the sleeves and it maybe being a 1-0.
“Ideally, we want to perform well and get a result, the perfect scenario is to play, score a lot of goals, not concede any and get three points.
“Unfortunately, football is not that easy. I feel mentally we have to be strong.
“When there are periods of the game where the opposition have a bit of the ball, we have to really dig in and show a real steeliness about us. I feel that as a football team we are as good as anyone on our day but we need to bring other elements to our game to a better standard than we have seen.
“I think the position we are in does not reflect the squad of players we have. But we are there so we need to address, not necessarily the performances, but the results. That has to happen quickly and the players know exactly what where I am coming from and what is expected from them.”