Lee Johnson hints at Hibs selection dilemma for Celtic trip as he weighs up using 'razor-sharp weapon'
Lee Johnson is weighing up whether or not to unleash Demetri Mitchell on Celtic this weekend, as the Hibs manager raved about the winger’s displays in training.
The versatile left-sided player missed the Premier Sports Cup campaign through injury but made an appearance off the bench in the opening day win against St Johnstone, before another injury kept him sidelined throughout August and September. Johnson has been impressed by what he has seen of the 25-year-old in training and hinted after the Dundee United defeat in midweek that he could change things up for the weekend trip to face Ange Postecoglou’s side.
"Demetri Mitchell is training extremely well and looking razor-sharp,” the Hibs boss said, as he spoke ahead of Saturday’s cinch Premiership clash.
"He’s almost like a new signing for us. That’s a decision we have to make: is he ready? I haven’t seen him in a 90 minutes since I came to the club but his training standard has been outstanding enough to put that in my mind, that he could be a weapon for us.
"I feel like we’re getting stronger. The returning players, and I’m still including Kyle in that, are getting more minutes under their belt, more training, more GPS numbers. We’re becoming a stronger unit, a stronger outfit.”
The Easter Road boss hasn’t had his injury problems to seek this season and still has a number of players sidelined. Rocky Bushiri is back available for selection along with Kyle Magennis, who has featured off the bench in Hibs’ last three matches, but Momodou Bojang and Jake Doyle-Hayes are sidelined for at least the next few weeks, while Kevin Dąbrowski and Kevin Nisbet have resumed training.
Johnson has been pleased with the progress of Nisbet, who suffered ligament damage against the Hoops during a goalless draw at Easter Road in February, and while the Scotland internationalist isn’t ready to be pitched into action he is coping well.
"We’ve got to be careful with Kevin,” Johnson said, as he ran through his squad ahead of the weekend. “He’s flying, and well ahead of schedule, but we’ve still got to be careful in our expectations of a) when he returns and b) what we remember of Kevin Nisbet, as opposed to the true Kevin Nisbet.”