Kevin Nisbet contract, Scott Allan, and new signings: Hibs fans have their say in supporter survey
With the summer transfer window now firmly closed and the league season up and running, the Evening News launched a fan survey for Hibs supporters to have their say on a range of topics.
New signings, extended contracts, and the January transfer window – yes, already – were among the questions fans answered.
Some responses were overwhelmingly in favour of one particular answer while others were closer affairs.
Summer transfer activity
Our first question focused on the club’s summer transfer business. Six new signings arrived at Easter Road as Jack Ross shaped his squad for the 2021/22 campaign.
But despite the influx of new arrivals, just 5.5 per cent of fans said they were “very happy” with the club’s business. A total of 29.5 per cent said they were “happy” while 38.6 per cent – the largest portion of responses – said they were simply content.
Perhaps tellingly, 20.5 per cent replied that they were “unhappy” while 5.9 per cent said they were “very unhappy” with the window.
There was no doubt over where the club could have done better according to a majority of fans with a whopping 86.8 per cent of respondents admitting they would have liked another striker brought in.
New signings’ impact
There was no doubt in most supporters’ minds about which signing will make the biggest impact with former St Mirren man Jake Doyle-Hayes accruing 76 per cent of votes in a one-sided outcome.
On-loan Middlesbrough centre-back Nathan Wood was the next most-backed player to make an impression with 10.1 per cent.
Daniel Mackay (4.6 per cent) narrowly beat James Scott and Dylan Tait (both 4.1 per cent) into third place while third-choice goalkeeper David Mitchell received just 0.9 per cent – a reflection, perhaps, of his role.
With one eye on the winter transfer window, 63.2 per cent of fans would like to see Hibs make a renewed effort to sign St Johnstone defender Jamie McCart. The Easter Road side tried to bring the centre-back down from Perth during the summer but could rekindle their interest in January, although 27.7 per cent of fans believe the club should move on to other targets and 9.1 per cent are unsure; perhaps wanting to see how things play out with the current centre-back options of Paul Hanlon, Darren McGregor, Ryan Porteous, and Nathan Wood.
On a related note, most Hibs fans (72.1 per cent) want the central defence strengthened in January, although 71.7 per cent believe striking reinforcements should be prioritised. As for other positions, 35.2 per cent believe the club needs incomings at full-back; 12.3 per cent say central midfield, and 7.8 per cent say wingers should be on the shopping list.
Just 5.5 per cent believe the goalkeeping department needs work while 2.7 per cent reckon the squad is strong enough as is.
Had things worked out towards the end of deadline day Scott Allan and Drey Wright might have been on their way to St Mirren with Jamie McGrath coming in the opposite direction but with the complicated deal failing to beat the clock, all three players stayed at their respective clubs. 47.5 per cent of supporters said they were glad that Allan and Wright had stayed in the Capital. Just over a fifth of fans (20.4 per cent) said they were unsure about the deal, while 32.1 per cent agreed it would have been a good move for all parties.
Meanwhile, 85 per cent of respondents believe Allan deserves more chances this season with just 15 per cent agreeing that it is time for him to move on.
Kevin Nisbet stayed at Easter Road beyond the end of the transfer window with the club revealing that they were in talks over a new and improved deal for the Scotland striker. We asked Hibs fans if they thought the player would sign a new contract with 52.3 per cent of supporters replying: “Yes – but he won’t be at Hibs next season.”
Just 13.6 per cent of fans think he’ll be sold in January with another 13.6 per cent tipping him for a summer 2022 departure. A total of 20.5 per cent of supporters reckon he’ll sign a new deal and be at the club next term.
A total of 60.5 per cent of fans reckon he would have been the biggest loss had he been sold in summer with 23.6 per cent believing Josh Doig would have been a bigger miss and 15.9 per cent reckoning Ryan Porteous would have been the hardest to replace.
League and cups
Despite various noises about signings and strengthening the team, 42 per cent of fans who responded to our survey believe the club can finish in the top three of the Scottish Premiership for a second successive season, although 50.7 per cent are erring on the side of caution and believe that a top-six finish is likely – which covers finishing in the top three as well. Just 4.1 per cent can see the Hibees finishing in the bottom six while 1.8 per cent optimistically believe the club can sustain a title challenge.
Just 1.4 per cent of fans fear the club will be relegated at the end of the 2021/22 campaign.
More than half of fans (50.9 per cent) are confident of finishing above city rivals Hearts, while 30.5 per cent believe it is too close to call just yet. Only 18.6 per cent believe Hearts will finish above Hibs.
Lastly, nearly 40 per cent of supporters don’t believe Hibs can win a cup this year, although nearly as many (38.9 per cent) reckon that the team’s chances depend on the draw. A further 21.7 per cent believe the Capital club will lift silverware this year after coming close twice last season.