Hibs skipper Liam Craig today revealed he’s ready to sign a new contract and enjoy the good times once again after enduring the toughest season of his career as the Easter Road club suffered a humiliating relegation.
The 28-year-old had the chance to jump ship last summer as the decks were cleared following former manager Terry Butcher’s sacking, but the midfielder opted to stay, adamant he would have felt ill-at-ease with himself had he done so.
Now Craig has only a few months remaining on his current deal and, although no talks have yet taken place with head coach Alan Stubbs, the former Falkirk and St Johnstone player insisted he’d love to be extend his stay in Edinburgh.
“Absolutely,” he replied when asked if he’d be willing to sign a new contract. “Last year was probably the toughest of my career, but this is a great club. Now it has a great management team and we have a great dressing-room.
“I heard Scott Allan after the game on Saturday saying it was one of the best he has been in and I would echo that because it is a great bunch of boys as you can see by the way we are playing for each other, the manager and the supporters.”
Although the season began somewhat indifferently, Hibs have now suffered just one defeat in their last 19 Championship matches, keeping them on course to achieve promotion through the play-offs, while they hope to move into the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup by defeating League Two Berwick Rangers on Sunday.
And that, insisted Craig, was all down to the hard work put in behind the scenes as Stubbs has strengthened his squad throughout the season. He said: “At the start of the season, the easy option for me would have been to walk away – and there were opportunities there. But it would not have sat well on me.
“Results were tough at the start of the season but hopefully we are through that. Now we have a lot of big games coming up. We could be really successful this season. I want to be part of it.”
Craig himself has found game time limited recently, an unused substitute in the 2-0 win against Rangers at Ibrox, suspended for the 3-0 victory over Dumbarton and getting just five minutes of the defeat of Alloa Athletic. But, he insisted, that simply underlines the options Stubbs has available.
He said: “I think that’s one of the manager’s strong points, knowing when to change things. Now he has everyone fit and he can do it a bit more than he could earlier in the season.
“Obviously it’s disappointing not to play but, if we are going to be successful, everyone has to play their part. We haven’t had the conversation yet [regarding a contract]. Hopefully it comes but the main thing is winning football games. If you play and the more games you win then the better chance you have of getting a new contract.”