Hibs signings in line for Rangers clash - and backed to make instant impact

Monty could hand new recruits an SPFL baptism of fire
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New Hibs signing Emiliano Marcondes has been hailed as a big-game specialist by head coach Nick Montgomery. And the Easter Road gaffer could – if international clearance for Myziane Maolida comes through in time – throw his first two signings straight into action in tomorrow night’s home clash with Rangers.

Marcondes, who will see out the last six months of his contract with Bournemouth in Scotland after agreeing to a half-season loan, joined full training at East Mains earlier today. And Monty declared: “He’s a player for big moments.

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“It speaks volumes for the club that a player of his quality is willing to come from the Premier League to play in the Scottish Premiership for Hibs. He really did want to come and pull on the green-and-white for Hibs.

“I think what we’ve really been lacking this season, with injuries, is competition in the front four. It’s been a big ask for Jair Tavares, who hadn’t played for 14 months, to come in and be a big starter. There’s been a lot of work on him, Elie Youan, Martin Boyle and Dylan Vente.

“What we’ve really lacked is impact on the bench. That’s no disrespect to the young players we’ve used. I inherited a good squad of players, but we’ve had a lot of injuries – and we have four away on international duty. So it’s a good time to get reinforcements in.”

On the chances of Hibs fans seeing Maolida and Marcondes in action against Rangers as Hibs return to Scottish Premiership action, Montgomery pointed out: “They’ve both been playing games before they came here. We saw Myziane play and score a huge goal in November, against Ghana, in a huge stadium. So he’s been playing international games and playing B team games for Hertha.

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“Emiliano is at Bournemouth, and he’s got himself back fit. He’s been playing in some under-23 games, reserve games, whatever you want to call them. So he’s fit, they’re both fit and raring to go.

“Coming into a new team environment, we train at high intensity, so it may take them a couple of weeks to get fully match fit. But it’s my job and the medical team’s job to make sure they’re ready.

“Myziane will be in the squad, for sure, if the paperwork comes through. They’ll both be in the squad for tomorrow. It’s a good opportunity to start the second half of the season at home.

“Both are quite flexible. Myziane can play centrally or play wide. Marcondes can play in a similar role to what Dylan Vente has been doing for us this season – which is probably not Dylan’s biggest strength. Marcondes can drop short and bring players into the team.

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“He’s a set-piece specialist, as well. So a few boys will be getting bumped off free-kicks! The reality is we’ve created a lot of opportunities – and we need to be clinical.”

Hibs are still pursuing at least one more new face before the January window closes, with a left-sided central defender a priority, Montgomery insisting: “We’re trying. We’ve had to think outside the box a little bit. It’s easy to say we should bring players in. But it’s very, very hard to get in players who have been playing – unless you pay a big transfer fee and hand them a long contract.

“We’re pretty light at centre back, with Rocky Bushiri away. That just leaves us with Paul Hanlon and Will Fish. If the right player comes up, it could be a long-term project – but what we can’t do is bring in players who won’t impact straight away.”

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