Hibs boss Terry Butcher will today read the riot act to striker Ross Caldwell after his Scottish Cup tantrum in Dingwall – while telling the youngster he believes he still has a bright future at Easter Road.
The 20-year-old reacted angrily to being substituted in the dying seconds of the 1-0 win, having come on only 13 minutes earlier to replace match-winner Danny Handling, twice brushing his manager aside as he headed up the tunnel at Victoria Park as Tom Taiwo took to the pitch in his place.
His actions clearly angered Butcher, who admitted a “few words were said in the dressing-room afterwards”, before revealing he’d be hauling Caldwell into his office today to no doubt make it abundantly clear such behaviour won’t be tolerated.
Despite Caldwell’s late introduction to the game, Butcher made what he admitted was a rare decision to “substitute a substitute” to inject “fresh legs” into his side as they sought to hang on to their slender lead, opting to hook the youngster rather than fellow striker James Collins.
Butcher said: “Ross’ reaction was very disappointing. Very rarely, if ever, have I substituted a substitute. I do not like to do it, but I felt I had to do it to get fresh legs on.
“James seemed to get some reservoirs of energy from somewhere. I do not know where, but it was phenomenal really. He looked absolutely knackered, but then he kept on going and going. There were a few words in the dressing-room and we will take action, but I think he has a bright future here. We like him very much.
“He is a good player, but sometimes he has to accept what the manager does and get on with it. He is a proud boy. We’ll talk about it today and move on.”
Butcher was delighted at having clocked up his first win as Hibs manager at a ground where he’d never won, while Handling’s strike in the 31st minute, his first of the season, gave the Capital outfit their first ever victory over Ross County at the seventh time of asking.
The triumph, though, was further marred by a red card for winger Paul Cairney who, having been booked in the first half, was shown a second yellow card by referee Craig Thomson as he went down under the challenge of County goalkeeper Mark Brown. Hibs skipper Liam Craig said Thomson told him his team-mate was already going down before contact was made but Butcher insisted: “It was extremely harsh.
“It’s a goal kick or a penalty and that’s it. Contact was made, Paul has a big mark on his shin.”
Butcher returned to Edinburgh to further good news, learning long-term injury victim Tim Clancy had come through his first full 90 minutes since April as Hibs defeated Eyemouth 7-1 in the East of Scotland League with Jamie Beaton scoring a hat-trick, Fraser Mullen two while Dean Horribine and Jay Doyle grabbed a goal apiece.
Provided 29-year-old Clancy, who required surgery in the summer for a groin problem, feels no ill effects, he’s likely to play again in tomorrow’s under-20 match against Dunfermline at Livingston.