Ofir Marciano hold up leaves Hibs considering goalkeeper switch for Scottish Cup test
Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano could sit out Monday’s Scottish Cup tie against Queen of the South following a busy international break with Israel.
While new Scotland cap Kevin Nisbet and Cyprus midfielder Alex Gogic both reported back to training on Thursday, manager Jack Ross revealed that first-choice keeper Marciano is not expected until the weekend.
“Ofir is the only one who hasn’t rejoined us yet but he has had a huge amount of travelling this week. He was travelling back from Moldova to Israel and then back to the UK so he won't be back in with us until the weekend.”
That could open up an opportunity for understudy Matt Macey to step into the starting line-up for the first time since mid-January.
“We will assess him [Marciano] to see how he is after all his travelling. He also played three 90 minutes in that period as well. So, yeah, he is one we will give consideration to in terms of the demands that have been on him.”
While the 31-year-old has been a mainstay in the Leith side throughout a productive league season, former QPR loanee Dillon Barnes deputised for him in the early rounds of the League Cup and current Hibee colleague Macey could be asked to do likewise as the capital club travel to Dumfries to kick off their 2020/21 Scottish Cup campaign.
The former Arsenal keeper was tested early in his Hibs career, signing a short-term deal in January and stepping straight into the starting line-up following an injury to Marciano, but he has had to be patient ever since.
The 26-year-old Englishman did impress the Hibs boss in those two outings, a 1-1 draw with Celtic and a 2-0 victory over Kilmarnock, and has done enough in training to see the club offer him a new contract that would keep him beyond the summer and possibly see him elevated to No.1 for next season.
And, with Marciano, who is set to quit the club after five years at the end of this campaign amid reports linking him to both Celtic and back home to Israel, missing the vast majority of the build-up to Monday night’s game, his opportunity could come even sooner, at Dumfries.