TERRY BUTCHER says Lewis Stevenson is one of the most honest professionals that he has ever worked with in football – and insisted today that there is much more to come from the player.
Stevenson looks set to make his 200th appearance for the club this weekend when they play host to Partick Thistle and Butcher and his assistant, Maurice Malpas, have been impressed not only by the player’s workrate but also by his attitude.
The versatile 25-year-old has been used in a number of positions in recent years but Butcher hinted that he may find himself in a more permanent role on the left side of midfield this season.
Butcher said: “Reaching the 200-match milestone is a fantastic achievement, especially for someone his age, and I am sure that there are many more to come.
“He has been tremendous for us and for Hibs in general over the last few seasons. He has been asked to play in a lot of different positions and he has done that very well. But, for me, I like to see him where he is right now, on the left-hand side of midfield.
“He is great to have in your team. He gives everything in every game and in every training session.
“He is one of the most honest professionals that you will ever see.
“At first sight he looks quite small and thin – but he’s tenacious. He doesn’t give up easily and that’s a great quality to have.
“Lewis is a very quiet guy. When he speaks he is very quiet and that is something that we are trying to work on. We want him to be more vocal, but that comes from confidence and everything else. From what I have heard and from what I have already seen for myself, he won’t give anything less than 100 per cent. He shows total commitment and that can only be good for the club.”
Meanwhile, Butcher revealed defender James McPake is to have surgery in a bid to finally end his back injury problems.
McPake had been set for surgery after missing last season’s Scottish Cup final but the operation was put off because it had been hoped that complete rest over the summer would cure the problem.
However, his back flared up in training again a couple of weeks ago and Butcher added: “James is going for an operation. He will be back before the end of the season.
“He needs this operation. He is 29 now and is looking to get his career back on track.
“He trained two weeks ago and his back flared up again. He was going to have an operation at the end of last season but it was felt that perhaps a rest over the summer would be good for him. It hasn’t been the case.
“He has had quite a few injections this season and it has come back to the scenario where an operation is hopefully going to sort things out and he can get back to action next year.”