Hibs star Tim Clancy has hit the comeback trail to help ease boss Pat Fenlon’s defensive worries as the Easter Road outfit face a battle to clinch a top-six finish.
Clancy has been sidelined since being forced to limp out of the action having suffered a hamstring injury after only 20 minutes as Hibs to Ross County in Dingwall at the end of January.
His absence forced Fenlon to juggle his options, Lewis Stevenson taking over initially in an unfamiliar role at right back until central defender Paul Hanlon was ruled out with a hip problem, Stevenson moving to left back as Ryan McGivern stepped inside to partner skipper James McPake in the centre while Alan Maybury took over on the right flank.
The injuries to Clancy and Hanlon left Fenlon desperately short of cover at the back with teenagers Bradley Donaldson and Jordon Forster, neither of whom have played in the SPL, taking a place on the bench in recent weeks.
But 28-year-old former Kilmarnock and Motherwell player Clancy started last night’s match for Hibs Under-20s as an overage player against Dundee United at Tannadice, gaining valuable game time which is likely to see him step into Fenlon’s squad for Friday night’s televised encounter with Motherwell, the first of three games which will determine whether or not Hibs end the season in the top six, a visit from Inverness Caley and Celtic away to follow the match at Fir Park.
The young Hibees lost 4-2, their goals from captain David Gold and Forster. Strikers Ross Caldwell and Danny Handling played and two players from the Under-17s, Callum Crane and Max Todd, also featured.