No Alfredo Morelos? Hibs more concerned about Jermain Defoe factor

Veteran striker a proven replacement for 'El Bufalo'

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 6:00 am
Jermain Defoe feels the cold in winter

Suspension may have robbed Rangers of top scorer Alfredo Morelos for tomorrow’s clash with Hibs but assistant head coach John Potter insists no-one has forgotten the hat-trick Jermain Defoe claimed in their 6-1 demolition by the Ibrox club earlier in the season.

Defoe didn’t cross paths with Potter or Easter Road boss Jack Ross when they were in charge of Sunderland but the pair heard plenty about the veteran English striker having left the Black Cats in the summer they took over on Wearside.

“We’ve looked at that a little bit,” revealed Potter of that August encounter in Govan. “Jermain was electric that day. He is a player we have admired and we heard a lot about him when we were down at Sunderland. The staff raved about him, everyone loved him as a player and a person.

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“We had a young player, Josh Maja, and he used to talk about some of the training he did with Jermain in terms of finishing practice, his drills and his work-rate.

“He is a top-quality player, has been his whole career – and he scores goals. Being at a club like Rangers, they will create chances for him and if you are looking for someone to get on the end of those, he is as good as anyone.”

Potter admitted Defoe will pose a different type of threat to “El Bufalo”, the 23-year-old Colombian who has 27 goals to his name this season.

He said: “Morelos can create things by himself, he helps Rangers get up the pitch and he is quick, strong and direct. Jermain is a different proposition.

“However, we need to concentrate on ourselves. We’re the home team and want to be the side taking the game to Rangers. Let’s try to get them on the back foot and try to score some goals. We’ve tried to do our homework and make sure we are prepared thoroughly for the challenge.”