Lewis Stevenson keen to stay at Hibs but SPL fight is first

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LEWIS STEVENSON has revealed he’d be delighted to hammer out a new deal at Easter Road – but only when the time is right.

Stevenson is one of a raft of Hibs players who will be out of contract at the end of this season but while negotiations have yet to get underway, the little midfield star insisted he’s totally relaxed about the situation, arguing that the fight to avoid relegation should take top priority.

It’s a view shared by boss Pat Fenlon who is determined to wait until Hibs’ SPL future is secure before making his moves although he freely admits he’d love to keep Stevenson at the club.

Although just 24, the Kirkcaldy-born player can boast the longest continuous service of any of Fenlon’s squad and is keen to extend that association even further saying: “I obviously love it here, I’ve been a the club for many moons and I’d love to stay.

“But we are concentrating on improving our league position, that’s our entire focus at the moment and I’m happy to wait. I’m not the sort of guy to go knocking on the door and I’m not worried.

“If there’s a couple of weeks to go before the end of the season and nothing has been sorted I might worry then, but at the moment I’m just looking to do my best and we’ll see what happens from there.”

Handed a one-year deal by former manager Colin Calderwood last summer, Stevenson has emerged as a key player under Fenlon who has described his recent performances as “fantastic”, the homegrown talent having forged a promising partnership with Honduran internationalist Jorge Claros in the middle of the park.

Stevenson insisted he had no problems agreeing a relatively short-term contract a year ago and, he believes, it has actually helped him take his game forward.

He said: “To be honest, I wasn’t playing well enough to get more than a year.

“I was just happy to take whatever I got and knowing it was just a year acts as an incentive, you cannot rest on your laurels, every day in training, every game you have to go for it.

“I’ve enjoyed highs such as winning the CIS Insurance Cup and we’ve been a top-six club most of the years I have been here but the last two seasons have been a bit of a low.

“However, we have been showing signs of improvement recently and having suffered with everyone else over the last couple of years I’d love to be here to enjoy the upturn in our fortunes that we believe are coming.”