Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs is unfazed by any prospective new arrivals boosting title rivals Rangers next month because he anticipates pulling at least one “rabbit out the hat” himself.
The Easter Road boss told the Evening News earlier this week that he intends to add a striker and a right-sided defender in January.
And he has now dropped a heavy hint that, all going to plan, there will be some particularly eye-catching transfer business conducted at Hibs in the upcoming transfer window.
Asked if he expected Rangers – who lead his team by three points in the Championship title race – to strengthen significantly, Stubbs replied: “I think we are all waiting to see if that does happen. There has been a lot of talk about it but we will see what happens.
“All I’m concentrating on is what I am potentially looking to bring in. And that might be quite exciting and could surprise a few people as well. I like to pull rabbits out of the hat, you know that. So you can wait with bated breath.”
Stubbs explained that the positivity around Hibs and the additional focus on the Championship at present has meant that plenty high-calibre players are keener than he envisaged on moving to Easter Road.
“What you are finding, and it will be the same with Rangers and with Falkirk on different levels, is that rather than you having to run around chasing people, they start coming to you,” he said. “They see what you are doing, the football you are playing and they hear things. It is great.”
Hibs face Rangers on Monday week and will be aiming to stay within striking distance of the leaders when they welcome Queen of the South tomorrow. Stubbs confirmed that Lewis Stevenson has recovered from the head knock that forced him off late in last weekend’s draw with Falkirk, while late decisions will be taken on the fitness of midfield duo Marvin Bartley and Dylan McGeouch, who missed out last weekend with back spasms and a groin problem respectively. Adam Eckersley and Farid El Alagui are unlikely to be involved this weekend as they continue their rehabilitation following long-term lay-offs.