Hibs boss Pat Fenlon was today hit with a third suspension problem as it was revealed Paul Hanlon has become the latest Easter Road star to be hit by a ban.
Fenlon already knows he will be without top scorer Garry O’Connor for Saturday’s trip to face Rangers at Ibrox, the striker having picked up his sixth yellow card of the season against Dunfermline.
And fellow hitman Leigh Griffiths, who has claimed four goals in his last three matches, could also be sidelined this weekend, as Hibs ponder whether to appeal the “offer” of a two-game suspension for the on-loan Wolves star. The Scotland Under-21 striker was caught yet again by television cameras making an offensive gesture during Saturday’s defeat by St Johnstone, his third such offence in a matter of weeks. Griffiths, already suspended for the William Hill Scottish Cup clash with Kilmarnock a week on Saturday, is facing a month without football, if his latest “conviction” by the SFA’s compliance officer, Vincent Lunny, is upheld although Hibs have yet to decide whether to appeal the decision.
If the two-match suspension stands, Griffiths will not only miss the Rangers game but relegation-threatened Hibs’ next SPL fixture, against Aberdeen at Easter Road on February 11 as well as the Cup tie.
Now Fenlon has learned Scotland Under-21 skipper Hanlon will sit out the visit of the Dons after being hit with a one-match ban having picked up his sixth booking of the season in the weekend defeat by St Johnstone, one which left Hibs just one point ahead of SPL basement outfit Dunfermline. Hanlon would normally have served his suspension two weeks after hitting the SFA’s disciplinary limit but as the ban applies to the SPL and not the Scottish Cup, it will be held over for a week meaning he misses the Dons game a week later.