Neil Lennon admits the absence of “stalwart” duo Fraser Fyvie and John McGinn will provide Hibs with a test of resolve as he strives to shore up his depleted squad with a new recruit this week.
The two midfielders face being out into the new year after Fyvie suffered a groin tear against Queen of the South last month and McGinn underwent ankle surgery.
In the first game the pair missed, Hibs lost 1-0 at Tannadice on Friday night as Dundee United moved level on points with them at the Championship summit. Lennon admits he and his team are going to have to dig deep in the coming weeks to ensure the injuries to the key pair don’t result in them losing top spot.
“Fyvie and McGinn are a big loss,” he told the Evening News. “They’re two outstanding footballers who have been two of our stalwarts for quite a while so I always felt we wouldn’t play quite as well without them on Friday. They’d be a loss to any team in Scotland.”
James Keatings, Danny Handling and Alex Harris are also unavailable for selection due to ongoing fitness issues, while Sam Stanton is out on a season-long loan at Dumbarton, albeit Hibs are considering recalling him next month. In the meantime, Lennon is still attempting to recruit a free agent midfielder to help ease the strain ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Dumbarton.
“Keatings will train this week but Saturday will probably be too soon for him,” said the head coach. “We’ll see how he is. Danny’s still got a couple of weeks to go and Alex, Fraser and John are obviously still out for a while. We’re a bit depleted at the minute – the bench on Friday wasn’t as strong as it has been – which is why we’re looking to bring someone in. I don’t know if we’ll get anyone in this week, but we’re working on it. We’ll have to look at Stanton’s situation next month but he’s injured at the minute as well.”