Daryl Horgan believes Hibs’ season will receive a kick-start now boss Neil Lennon has a full squad of outfield players available for the first time.
After an impressive opening-day win against Motherwell, the Easter Road side have stuttered, drawing against St Johnstone and Aberdeen before suffering a surprise defeat by Premiership new boys Livingston to find themselves sitting in sixth place and seven points off pacesetters and Capital rivals Hearts.
They did so, however, without a clutch of key figures, striker Flo Kamberi, defender Darren McGregor and midfielder Marvin Bartley all sidelined through injury, summer arrival Horgan yet to play alongside any of them.
Kamberi, McGregor and Bartley have now returned to training where they have been joined by the last of Lennon’s signings, Australian internationalist Mark Milligan who has been given the all-clear to face Kilmarnock at Easter Road tomorrow, the 33-year-old, a veteran of four World Cups, having finally won his work permit.
And, although goalkeeper Ofir Marciano is still recovering from an operation to a damaged finger, Lennon’s options have increased significantly with club skipper David Gray also available having sat out the Livingston match as a precaution having picked up a knock.
Republic of Ireland internationalist Horgan, who scored Hibs’ goal in the 2-1 defeat at the Tony Macaroni Arena, admitted he and his team-mates badly need to make up for that miserable performance when they host Kilmarnock tomorrow.
But he is convinced finally having a full-strength squad will see a quick upturn in the Edinburgh side’s fortunes. He said: “You want everyone fit and pushing for places and, from what I have seen, there will be no guaranteed starters becasue we have a really good group of players.
“We really have strength in depth, quality players and young lads pushing through challenging the senior players. There’s a good togetherness and once everyone is back and flying we will be stronger and can really kick on.
“The performance and result against Livingston were bitterly disappointing and we know Kilmarnock are a good side who have started this season well. We can’t afford to play as we did against Livingston or we’ll be turned over. We have to do much better and, if we play as we can, then we’ll be confident of the three points.”