Neil Lennon has hailed midfield enforcer Marvin Bartley as the unsung hero in Hibs’ drive to the top of the Championship table.
The 30-year-old has been battling a niggling back problem – it forced him to come off as the Easter Road side clocked up a fourth successive league win by beating Morton 4-0 at the weekend – but Lennon insisted the former Leyton Orient man has been playing an invaluable role in his side.
The Hibs boss said: “Marvin has a wee bit of a niggling back problem that’s ongoing and he felt it a bit towards the end of the game. But he’s ben excellent. He’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but he does a great job for me.
“In our four games he’s been a huge player for us in that defensive midfield role. He has a real presence in there.”
Bartley is likely to be rested this weekend as the Capital club travel to face Turriff United in the Irn-Bru Cup to help him get over his injury, while fellow midfielder Dylan McGeouch will also be one of those who doesn’t make the journey AS he’s suffered a recurrence of his hamstring problem.
Although McGeouch, who was plagued by injury last season, played home and away against Danish side Brondby in the Europa League, he then missed Hibs’ final two pre-season matches against Birmingham City and Shrewsbury, the opening Championship match at Falkirk and the Betfred Cup defeat by Queen of the South.
He returned to action by making an appearance as a substitute against Dunfermline and made his first league start in the 2-0 win away to St Mirren, after which he expressed the hope he could remain injury free and enjoy a run of games.
However, Lennon revealed McGeouch had missed the win against Morton with his hamstring bothering him again. He said: “It seems Dylan has had a recurrence of his hamstring problem.
“He trained last Tuesday but came off feeling a little bit tight. He had a day off on Wednesday, came in on the Thursday, said he felt fine but as soon as he got out there he started feeling it again.
“We felt he should not play and we’ll see how he is in the next week or so.”