Shaun Maloney discusses absence of Hibs pair from Dundee United win

Shaun Maloney is hopeful of having Paul McGinn and Joe Newell available when play resumes after the winter break following the pair’s absence from the Hibs team that defeated Dundee United 3-1 at Tannadice on Boxing Day.

By Patrick McPartlin
Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 6:00 am
Paul McGinn and Joe Newell both missed the victory over Dundee United
Paul McGinn and Joe Newell both missed the victory over Dundee United

Newell sat out the midweek win against Aberdeen at Easter Road with a dead leg, and was missing for the trip to the City of Discovery while McGinn played the full 90 minutes against the Dons but was a surprise omission from the team at the weekend.

However, Maloney sought to play down any fears that Hibs could be without the influential pair for a long period of time. Both players have captained the team this season and McGinn’s absence forced a rethink in defence with Lewis Stevenson playing as an auxiliary central defender in a back three.

Asked about the condition of McGinn and Newell the Hibs boss said: “Just injuries, yeah. Paul had something against Aberdeen and did amazing to play through the full 90 but unfortunately wasn’t available [for the United game].”

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Melker Hallberg also returned to the matchday squad for the first time this season, although the Swede remained an unused substitute in Dundee. The versatile 26-year-old hasn’t made a competitive appearance for the Capital club since the Scottish Cup final defeat by St Johnstone although he was involved in the club’s pre-season matches.

Hallberg’s inclusion combined with Maloney’s desire to run the rule over the whole playing squad could see the former Vejle man get a chance to impress next month as he steps up his return from injury.