Alan Stubbs today revealed he’ll definitely be making one change to his side for tomorrow night’s Championship match against Morton – recalling Lewis Stevenson for his 300th appearance as a Hibs player.
Stevenson had that moment delayed by a one-match suspension as a much-changed Easter Road side took three points off basement outfit Alloa Athletic on Sunday but Stubbs – the 28-year-old’s eighth manager – is determined he won’t have to wait a minute longer to become only the 32nd player in the club’s history to hit that landmark.
Hailing Stevenson’s achievement, the head coach said: “Tomorrow night is going to be a great occasion for Lewis. He’ll come straight back into the side – there’s no doubt about that. He will definitely be making his 300th appearance.
“To play so many games at the one club is rarely seen nowadays the way the game has gone. There’s a turnaround not just in players but managers as well which gives you an uncertainty, you are not too sure if the next manager is going to like your strengths.
“But Lewis has stood the test of time with all of them even through what has happened here. They have all probably seen what I have seen in him. First and foremost, he is a good football player and secondly he is a pleasure to coach.”
Stubbs, who handed Stevenson a new two-year contract last summer to extend a stay at Easter Road which stretches back to the days of Tony Mowbray’s time in charge, went on: “Since I have come in, I’ve had nothing but admiration for him. In my time as manager, he has been absolutely first class from the day I walked in up to now.
“He is probably what every team needs, the unsung hero, your Mr Reliable, Mr Steady Eddie. He’s been here throughout all that has happened so it is good right now that he is seeing a positive side to it. Lewis has made a huge contribution to everything we have done since we came here.”
Admitting Stevenson will probably hate the spotlight being thrown on him, Stubbs compared Hibs’ longest-serving player to the quiet man of Manchester United, Paul Scholes.
He said: “He reminds me of Scholes, someone who comes in, trains, plays and goes away with none of the limelight stuff.
“He’s just that way inclined and that’s similar to Scholes.
“Lewis just goes about his football and his life in his own way.
“He’s a very quiet guy in the background. He has his own way and every player respects that and loves him for what he is.
“He doesn’t say a lot but when he speaks a lot of people listen to him.”
Asked if anything special was planned to mark the occasion, Stubbs said: “I wouldn’t think Lewis would want anything. He’ll want to treat it just as a normal game and I think the biggest thing we can get him is the three points. He’d be more than happy with that. But it’s great for him, a one-club man with 300 appearances – and rising.”