Hibs head coach wants more friendlies

Alan Stubbs
Alan Stubbs
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Hibs boss Alan Stubbs today revealed he’s looking to arrange two more friendlies after the Easter Road outfit were left facing a delayed start to their season.

The other Championship clubs kick off three weeks tomorrow, but, having drawn Rangers away in the Challenge Cup, Hibs will be inactive as Ibrox is being used to stage the Commonwealth Games Rugby Sevens tournament.

However, Stubbs insisted that while he’d ideally liked to have been facing Ally McCoist’s side that day, he doesn’t envisage the enforced lay-off causing him any problems and, with an influx of new players expected to swell his depleted squad, he believes it could actually be beneficial.

The head coach said: “Whenever the draw was made I said to George [Craig, Hibs’ head of football operations] we need to organise a game. So from that point of view it’s not a problem. Ideally we’d have liked to have played Rangers on the 26th but because of the Commonwealth Games we don’t know when that’s going to be.

“But it doesn’t affect our plans whatsoever, that’s the most important thing. We’ll be looking to get in one or two really competitive games that will be a good test.”

Hibs begin their pre-season programme by facing Lowland League outfit Vale of Leithen at Innerleithen tomorrow before travelling to meet Berwick Rangers, Dunfermline and Stirling Albion, but Stubbs hinted he’s seeking tougher competition with one of the hoped for games pencilled in for Easter Road.

He said: “I’ve spoken to Leeann [Dempster, Hibs chief executive] and George about having a game here before the start of the season. Hopefully it will be a standard of team that will give us a good test and prepare us for that first game of the season.”

Asked who he might seek out as opposition, Stubbs said: “We will see what’s about. There will be plenty of teams, foreign, British, who will be coming to Scotland to do pre-season.

“It’s a very popular place so if anyone is here and fits in with our plans then great.”

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Kieton Perntreau is likely to be in goal tomorrow as Stubbs whittles down his list of goalkeeping targets, the coach revealing he plans to use the match to give each of his players 45 minutes of action.

He said: “It’s part of our fitness plans and we’ll use a mixture of young lads and first team players for the first and second halves.”