PAT FENLON admitted today that Lewis Stevenson will be a huge loss to his Hibs side when they take on Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup semi-finals.
The midfielder has been a regular feature in Fenlon’s line-up this year but is suspended for the last-four clash with Aberdeen on Saturday.
Fenlon has options in the middle of the park with David Wotherspoon, Jorge Claros and Richie Towell among those who could come into the equation in Stevenson’s absence.
And the Hibs manager revealed that he already has an idea of his starting XI for the trip to Hampden next weekend, saying: “Lewis is out next week which is a blow for us because I thought that, yet again, his effort and his workrate were fantastic. We are obviously going to have to make a change in there and that is something that we are going to have to think about during the week.
“Aberdeen are a big physical team as well so that will come into it but I have already got an idea who will play, it’s just a case of making sure that everyone comes through training okay over the next few days.”
Stevenson lined up alongside Tom Soares in the midfield for the 1-1 draw with Motherwell yesterday, the on-loan Stoke City player replacing Richie Towell from the previous week’s win over Inverness.
And Fenlon added: “Tom came on last week and I thought he did quite well. It was probably a toss-up between him and David Wotherspoon and we just felt that, in terms of experience, Tom would be better for that game.
“That can change, obviously, depending on the game and who you’re playing. I thought he did alright yesterday and he almost scored a fantastic goal.”
Meanwhile, Fenlon is confident Leigh Griffiths will be fit for selection on Saturday, having signalled to the bench that he needed to come off four minutes from the end of the game against Stuart McCall’s men.
Griffiths was ruled out of sessions last week after taking a hefty knock from James McPake in training, but Fenlon reckons there will be no problem for the semis: “We would have left him on but he signalled to me that he needed to come off.
“He hasn’t trained all week because he took a bit of a whack in training from James McPake and he was sore in the lead-up to the game.
“He was touch and go to play yesterday but he managed to play the majority of the game.
“I thought that he put in a good shift for us and he was knackered when he came off.”