Hibs boss Alan Stubbs today admitted he’ll face a massive headache when deciding who to leave out as he names his team for Friday night’s crunch Championship clash with Rangers.
Stubbs strengthened his squad during the January transfer window with the signings of Franck Dja Djedje, Martin Boyle, Tomas Cerny, Keith Watson and, on deadline day, Fraser Fyvie but now has striker Dominique Malonga back from international duty and right back David Gray in action again following a groin operation.
Malonga missed the Scottish Cup victory over Arbroath through suspension while Boyle and Watson were cup-tied but all three will be available for the trip to Ibrox where Hibs will be hoping to make it a hat-trick of league wins over the crisis-ridden Glasgow club.
And that, Stubbs admitted, means he’ll have disappointed players to deal with when they learn they aren’t in his starting line-up.
He said: “It’s a headache, but a nice one to have. When you are in charge of a big club that’s what you have to do. I’m glad of it because that’s what we all want as managers – to have nice selection problems.
“It will be tough on the lads who do not start, they’ll be disappointed because they’ll all be desperate to play. When you are winning games of football everyone wants to play, the confidence is good and the belief is
even better. I’d be disappointed if every one of them doesn’t want to play because playing in the big games is what you want to be part of. Those that don’t start will be disappointed but they know they are very much part of a team, a unit we are trying to build here.”
Meanwhile, Hibs have been told they won’t be getting any additional tickets for the game at Ibrox.
Their initial allocation of 953 sold out almost immediately but, despite indications from Rangers that more tickets might be made available, that has turned out not to be the case. A statement on Hibs website said: “Following consultation with the police and given the categorisation of this match and the segregation arrangements at Ibrox, a decision has been made that no additional tickets will be made available to Hibernian supporters.
“The late notification on this is obviously disappointing, and something that has been expressed to Rangers. Rangers have apologised to the club for the situation.
“Hibernian Football Club would ask that any Hibs supporter not in possession of a match ticket for our allocated section at Ibrox does not travel. For the supporters who have been placed on the waiting list for any additional tickets, we can only apologise for any inconvenience which regrettably is outwith our control.”