Michael Weir: No reason why Hibs can't pull another rabbit or two out of the transfer hat

Jack Ross will be looking to bolster his side next month and while the winter transfer window can be a bit of a minefield, Hibs have previous for making shrewd January signings

Wednesday, 1st January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st January 2020, 11:52 am
The Hibs players are put through their paces at East Mains

I think it’s obvious to everyone as we head into the winter break that we need to get greater quality into the squad at Easter Road. For me, every department needs to be improved.

As Jack Ross admitted following Sunday’s defeat at Livingston, Hibs are too inconsistent and while being in the top six at this stage of the season is reasonable enough, unless that’s addressed then a push for one of the Europa League places looks a bit beyond us.

Ross has an opportunity in the January window to start changing things around but, of course, all problems aren’t going to be solved over the course of a few weeks. It is notoriously difficult at this time of year to get the players of the quality you want. The main business is usually done during the summer.

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Having said that, Hibs have pulled off a few shrewd moves at this time of year in the past few seasons. A couple of years ago Jamie Maclaren and Flo Kamberi came from nowhere and played a pivotal part in helping the club finish fourth in a first season back in the Premiership.

Their arrivals were augmented by the return of Scott Allan following that deadline day merry-go-round.

Those were moves that undoubtedly paid off and it worked again this time 12 months ago when Marc McNulty and Stephane Omeonga came in and played their part in clinching a top-six finish.

One difficulty at this time is you are often unable to sign players who have fallen out of favour for one reason or another at their club and, as happened with McNulty and Omeonga, a loan spell in Edinburgh put them in the spotlight for others with deeper pockets.

It can be a hit and a miss as well. Much was hoped for from Ryan Gauld but, partly because of injury, he failed to make an impact.

Ross has had a hectic schedule of matches in which to have a good look at the players he inherited from Paul Heckingbottom and no doubt will have had many discussions with Graeme

Mathie as to what he sees needing done but, as I have said before, the glaring problem as been the lack of an anchorman in midfield.

Letting both Marvin Bartley and Mark Milligan leave last summer without signing an adequate replacement simply baffled me. We lost that solidity in the middle of the park, which was obvious in a game like Sunday’s.

I feel we could do with another striker to offer different options and we also need more cover at the back. Again, I’ve said it before, we can’t expect Darren McGregor to go on forever and while Ryan Porteous has potential, we saw again in the Rangers game how raw he still is.