Neil Lennon believes Hibs fans are finally beginning to see the best of Dylan McGeouch with the midfielder appearing to have shaken off the injury problems which have blighted much of his career at Easter Road.
McGeouch turned in a man-of-the-match performance as the Hibees stretched their unbeaten run over Capital rivals Hearts to eight matches, leading Lennon to describe him and team-mate John McGinn as “good as anything in the country at the minute”.
But Lennon, who once turned up on the young McGeouch’s doorstep to persuade him to return to Celtic after he’d left for Rangers when his older brother Darren – who also played for the Hoops youth team – fell out of favour at the club, admitted he was particularly happy to see the 24-year-old turning on the style. The Hibs boss said: “Dylan’s work-rate has improved immensely, his physicality has improved so we are getting the best out of Dylan now which is a delight to see. I am really happy for him.”
McGeouch, who has been troubled with a recurring groin problem since initially joining Hibs on loan three years ago, visited a specialist in London during the summer on the recommendation of Scotland star Robert Snodgrass, who had been treated for a knee problem by him and is now following a new physio and stretching regime which appears to have done the trick.
Lennon said: “Dylan would be in for a couple of games and then out with niggles, hamstrings. He has been to see the specialist, who thankfully seems to have got to the bottom of it. Psychologically, Dylan is in a real good place at the moment and is playing wonderful football, absolutely wonderful.”
Lennon has revealed he hopes Anthony Stokes, who missed the derby with an ankle injury sustained in the Betfred Cup semi-final defeat by Celtic will be fit for Saturday’s trip to Motherwell for a match which, he predicted, will be “a real humdinger” although, obviously, Simon Murray has his fingers crossed his winning goal against Hearts will keep him in the side. Lennon, who saw his team surrender a two-goal lead to the Steelmen earlier this season, said: “I’m hoping Anthony will be fit but the players who played against Hearts covered themselves in glory. However, that’s done. Now we have to go to Motherwell and play as strongly.
“It will be tough. Motherwell had a fantastic win at the weekend, Stephen Robinson has got them off to a great start and in Louis Moult they have on of the best strikers in the country. We were 2-0 up here in the last game and could have lost it. It’s going to be a real humdinger.”
• Hibs face East Kilbride in the SFA Youth Cup at Easter Road tonight (kick-off 7.30pm). Admission is by donation and fans will be housed in the lower tier of the West Stand.