One-game ban for key player disrupts packed Hibs fixture schedule

Sixth booking of league campaign sees skipper in the dock

Newell in action as Hibs beat AberdeenNewell in action as Hibs beat Aberdeen
Newell in action as Hibs beat Aberdeen

Hibs captain Joe Newell has been hit with a one-game suspension. But the skipper won't be forced out the match-day squad for another fortnight - meaning he's clear to face Celtic in Glasgow on Wednesday night.

A sixth league booking of the season in yesterday’s dramatic 2-0 home win over Aberdeen put Newell over the SFA disciplinary threshold. He incurs an automatic one-game ban as a result.

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But the suspension won’t kick in until 14 days after the sixth offence. Before serving the ban, Hibs face Celtic on Wednesday, Livingston away on Saturday and St Johnstone in Perth on December 16. The midfielder will miss Ross County away on December 23.

Newell has been a virtual ever-present since Nick Montgomery took over as head coach in September, starting all bar one game under the new gaffer. He’s also inherited the armband from club captain Paul Hanlon, currently struggling to get game time, on a more or less permanent basis.

He played another influential role in yesterday’s home win over the Dons, which saw the hosts record a third straight league victory for the first time since February. The three points took Hibs up to fifth in the Scottish Premiership table, just a point behind fourth-placed St Mirren.

They travel to Celtic Park to take on a home side forced to come from behind to beat St Johnston 3-1 at McDiarmid Park. Hibs head coach Nick Montgomery, who has already seen his team hold the reigning champions and league leaders to a 0-0 draw at Easter Road back in October, said: “It’s big game on Wednesday. But we will dust ourselves down, recover, make sure we are well prepared going into Wednesday’s game.”