Hibs’ longest-serving player, Lewis Stevenson, has been offered a new deal as Neil Lennon begins a review of those players who will be out of contract at the end of the season.
Revealing that he’ll be looking to strengthen his squad again in the January transfer window, head coach Lennon told the club’s annual general meeting that the futures of players such as Stevenson, club skipper David Gray and centre-half Darren McGregor were also under consideration.
He said: “We have offered Lewis a contract extension already and I am sure he is pretty content with that and contract positions will be reviewed as we go along. We don’t want to run down contracts, but sometimes it’s down to a player whether he wants to stay on.
“Dylan McGeouch is a prime example, we did everything we could but he decided to move on.”
Asked how many players he’d like to bring in during January, Lennon joked “ten”, before adding on a more serious note: “There are areas you always looked to improve on. We did that in January, although there were a few unforeseen things that came in to play like Portugal [the incident during the winter break which led to Anthony Stokes leaving] that I had to deal with, and we had a great second half to the season.
“I am pretty happy with the balance of the squad we have. There’s a few who have still to come up to speed – Harry Mavrias, Miquel Nelom and Mark Milligan, although we have seen what a good acquisition he can be.
“But it’s been a bit stop-start, the transfer window, international breaks, the Europa League run. It’s been very difficult to get a settled run of games. At this particular moment we’ve had the Hamilton game, a two-week break, Celtic and then another ten-day break, so I don’t think we’ll really see the balance of the squad until December when we have eight games.
“Then we’ll look to our league position and see how strong or weak we are. There are players’ loan spells up in January, so we may look to replace them. I don’t want a huge squad, I like to work with 22 or 23 players but I’m happy with the business we have done.”
Lennon also told shareholders that given Hibs had lost John McGinn, McGeouch and Scott Allan over the summer, he was satisfied with how the season had gone so far.
He said: “Up until Friday we were sitting second. It’s really tight at the top, but we are in a better position than last year which really pleases me considering the players we lost.
“In the second half of last season we lost two out of 19 games and I’m looking to get that again with the players we have. Come January you are always looking to improve, but we have a wage limit and budget we have to work within.”