Joe Newell speaks on Hibs new boys and return to training

Hibs midfielder Joe Newell has admitted the Easter Road squad needed a rest ‘physically and mentally’ after a punishing schedule in December.

The players also had to deal with the departure of Jack Ross and John Potter before Shaun Maloney’s arrival shortly before Christmas and the 28-year-old was glad to have the time off as the winter break was brought forward following a change in coronavirus restrictions.

"It was good to refresh ourselves and have a little break, both physically and mentally. With all the games we had in December the lads needed it so was nice to have that time off,” Newell said.

The idea behind Hibs returning to HTC on January 3 was to give Maloney two full weeks with the group before the trip to Celtic on January 17, and Newell has appreciated the extra time with the new manager.

Joe Newell has spoken about the squad's return to training and the new signings

“We’re back training now which has been really good; the standards have been high and intense. Having two weeks without a game has meant we have had a good bit of time with the gaffer, which has given him a chance to implement his ideas and focus on how he wants us to play."

The former Rotherham and Peterborough man has also been impressed by the new arrivals at Easter Road. Harry Clarke, Elias Melkersen, Ewan Henderson, and Rocky Bushiri have all arrived since the start of January while Chris Mueller and Dylan Tait have also joined up with the squad.

Newell continued: “The new boys have freshened things up here and given everyone a lift.

“They are all good players and have trained well so far and taken to the gaffer’s methods. It might take a bit of time for the lads who haven’t experienced Scottish football before to get used to the new style of play and new environment so it is up to us to welcome them, and make them feel at home and relaxed.

"We have got a really good group here so anyone who comes in is always welcomed and looked after and now there is extra competition for places.

“You have to maintain your standards if you want to play in the team. It is a good thing because it keeps everyone on their toes."

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