HIBS new boy Gary Deegan is poised for a baptism of fire after the Dublin-born midfielder became Easter Road boss Pat Fenlon’s sixth summer signing.
Deegan’s deal went through too late to allow him to play in the Edinburgh club’s opening SPL match of the season, a 3-0 hammering by Dundee United at Tannadice, Coventry City having accepted an undisclosed fee for the 24-year-old.
But Fenlon revealed he’s ready to pitch Deegan, who has agreed a one-year deal, into Sunday’s first Capital derby of the season, admitting he sorely needs a response from his players as they face their arch-rivals for the first time since their Scottish Cup final mauling at Hampden three months ago.
Fenlon, who was Deegan’s manager at Irish outfit Bohemians, said: “Gary wil come in for next week’s game, he’s the type of player we have been looking for. He’s a player I’ve wanted to bring to Hibs ever since I first came to the football club. He is exactly the type of player and character who will help to move the team forward.
“Gary is an honest, committed player, who is technically very good, but who also won’t get bullied in the middle of the park. He’s a strong boy who will offer us something different in our midfield and he’s the type of player our supporters will take to. He knows exactly what I expect from him and he’s the type of character who won’t let you down.”
Fenlon also insisted he continues to work hard behind the scenes to bring further new faces to Easter Road, with a striker remaining at the top of his wish list. Leigh Griffiths was deployed as a lone frontman against United with Fenlon’s only options being 18-year-olds Danny Handling and Ross Caldwell, who both made appearances as substitutes yesterday.
Admitting Hibs hadn’t mintues before goals from Jon Daly and Michael Gardyne underlined the Tayside club’s dominance, Fenlon agreed the result had cranked up the pressure on his stars ahead of the derby.
He said: “We need a response from the players on Sunday.
“It’s all with us now, there’s not anything anyone else can do. In fairness, the supporters came and backed us again yesterday. They have also put their money where their mouths are with buying season tickets. So we need to give them something to shout about.” deserved anything from the match, Johnny Russell firing United ahead after just three