Garry Parker has insisted there was no sinister reason behind the absence of Scotland midfielder John McGinn – the subject of a £1.5 million bid from Celtic – as Hibs coasted to a 6-0 win over Berwick Rangers.
The Easter Road No.2 admitted the non-appearance of McGinn would undoubtedly set tongues wagging with the Hoops expected to return with an improved offer for the 23-year-old but revealed that, along with Darren McGregor, Florian Kamberi and Marvin Bartley, who had all featured against Linlithgow Rose last weekend, he was simply being “rested”.
And he was adamant that McGinn will line up for Hibs in Paul Hanlon’s testimonial match on Sunday against Blackburn Rovers.
“We just rested them because we have a big game Sunday for them to get their fitness,” said Parker. “We gave some of the young boys a run out and they did quite well.
“We just get on with it. Celtic put in a bid as we know but we just get on with it. He is our player at the moment. Nothing fazes John. We are looking to Sunday to get our fitness up ready for the game against Runavik next Thursday which is a big game for us.
“Sunday will be a good test for us and John will be playing.”
It is understood there has been no further contact between Hibs and Celtic regarding McGinn and Parker insisted any talk of a transfer fee, should a deal be agreed, would be a matter for the Easter Road board.
And, while speculation continues to swirl around McGinn, Parker revealed that Hibs, who have been linked with moves for Barnsley’s Stevie Mallan, Daryl Horgan of Preston North End and Leicester City’s Dylan Watts, could have a new face in place by Sunday.
He said: “We are hoping, we are looking and fingers crossed that something might happen in the next few days.”
Oli Shaw grabbed a double at Shielfield Park to go with goals by Simon Murray, David Gray, Steven Whittaker and Lewis Allan, and Parker said: “We needed that game and I thought we played quite well.
“There were some good goals and we passed the ball.”
Parker admitted there had been some meaty tackles – branding one early in the match by Berwick’s Declan O’Kane as “a bit naughty”, claiming it could have broken Hibs midfielder Scott Martin’s leg.
He said: “Scott is a strong lad, he gets up and carries on.”