Friday’s performance at Ross County added to my belief that Hibs are shaping up well this summer.
I thought we performed really well away against one of our Premiership rivals and could have won quite comfortably if we had taken our chances.
We still need a wee bit of work on our attack and I’m sure a couple of new arrivals will make a difference in that department but there were certainly more positives than negatives.
Steven Whittaker looks like he’s fitted in no problem. He’s played at this level before and he knows what the club is all about so he should be a good signing for us. The same can be said of Anthony Stokes if we can get that one over the line.
Quality like Stokes is hard for a club like Hibs to acquire. He’s shown in the past that he’s comfortable playing for the club. Although he took a while to get going the last time he was here and struggled in some Championship games, I wouldn’t judge him on that because he was clearly miles short of fitness. He needed games to get his sharpness back and we saw the real Anthony Stokes in the Scottish Cup final when he’d had a good few months to get up to speed. He’s a big-game player and it’ll suit him well playing in the Premiership under Neil Lennon.
The arrival of the Lithuanian striker Deivydas Matulevicius just adds to the feeling that we’re going to be a really strong team who won’t get brushed aside by anyone. He looks like he’ll play as a target man, who we can hit when we need to get further up the pitch.
We’ve already got loads of physicality and experience in the defensive and midfield areas and we look a really strong unit. Teams are going to have to work hard to play against Hibs this year because we’ve got a lot of presence about us. We’ve been a bit lightweight at times in the past, but this team doesn’t look like they’ll get bullied.
People used to say Hearts were big and physical but they also had good players in there as well. Hibs will be the same because we’ve still got plenty in the squad who can play. It’s important to have that blend of strength and creativity, and I’m sure that’s the way Neil sees it.