Hibs confident of landing a quality striker

Wigan striker Billy McKay is available
Wigan striker Billy McKay is available
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Alan Stubbs is confident that Hibs will land a striker that fits their requirements before the transfer window closes on Tuesday.

The head coach hasn’t hidden the fact he is looking to bolster his attack and Billy McKay, the former Inverness Caledonian Thistle forward currently with Wigan Athletic, yesterday emerged as a possible target.

Stubbs was unwilling to be drawn on individual names, however. Asked if he could confirm reports linking him with McKay, the head coach said: “Not really, to be honest. There are quite a few names. I am not going to confirm or deny any names, I think it would be wrong to do that. We are still actively looking to bring in a player, so until we are closer to doing that there will be speculation. But I am not going to comment on that.”

McKay has toiled to command regular football since joining the Latics in January, but his club are unlikely to let him leave on a free transfer. Dundee United had reportedly agreed a fee in the region of £200,000 with Wigan for the 26-year-old Northern Ireland internationalist, and Stubbs confirmed that Hibs, who have recently profited from the sale of Scott Allan, are in a position to facilitate the signing of a decent calibre attacker.

“We are in a position where we can bring in a striker – that is probably the best way to put it,” he said. “I have said all along if someone comes up and as a club we feel we can do something on it then we are always looking to strengthen. We want to be successful, so whenever good players become available, if we felt it was right for the football club, then I am sure we would be very interested.”

Stubbs does not anticipate having his new striker in place in time for tomorrow’s Championship clash with Raith Rovers at Easter Road, but he is confident he will conclude a deal before the transfer window closes

“At this moment in time I am looking to it going towards Monday,” he said. “But if it changes and it is before then, great.

“I will be surprised if we do not bring one in. If we don’t it will not be through want of trying. I think it’s fair to say a striker will be the last piece in the jigsaw. I don’t think we will be doing much more than that. This is the final piece. We want to make sure it is the right one.”

Captain David Gray is fit enough to return to the side tomorrow after sitting out the win over Stranraer to rest the back problem that forced him off against Rangers on Sunday. Fraser Fyvie was due to be assessed today after going off with a tight hamstring on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Hibs are close to signing English striker Jamie Insall. The 23-year-old, who has spent his entire career in the non-league ranks down south, has been on trial for the past month and, after impressing Stubbs, he is expected to come in primarily as a development player with a view to being nurtured towards the first team.