Stranraer duo are in Hibs’ sights

Jackson Longridge in action for Stranraer. David Mitchell, below
Jackson Longridge in action for Stranraer. David Mitchell, below
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Hibs have been monitoring players from Stranraer, with the focus of their attention thought to be goalkeeper David Mitchell and teenage left-back Jackson Longridge.

Head coach Alan Stubbs has already revealed he is keen to add at least “three or four” new players in next month’s transfer window and League 1 club Stranraer have been flattered by the presence of representatives from the Hibees at most of their matches over the past two months.

Blues manager Stephen Aitken believes that Mitchell, 24, and Longridge, 19, are the players attracting the interest of the Capital club.

“We are aware that Hibs have been tracking us across Scotland,” said Aitken. “It is a massive compliment and we reckon it is David and Jackson they are looking at. We have not heard anything officially from Hibs but they certainly seem keen on us.”

Both Mitchell and Longridge have been prominent members of a Stranraer team currently enjoying a 15-game unbeaten run. Longridge joined the Stair Park club from Ayr United in the summer and has established himself in the starting XI with some marauding displays over the past couple of months.

Goalkeeper Mitchell has made more than 200 appearances for the Blues since joining as a teenager five and a half years ago. Hibs’ current options at left-back are Lewis Stevenson and Callum Booth, although the latter has not featured regularly under Stubbs or any of his recent predecessors. The head coach has made no secret of the fact he is in the market for an experienced goalkeeper to provide competition for No.1 Mark Oxley, whose loan deal from Hull City he expects to extend beyond January.

Stubbs has also been running the rule over Swedish custodian Marcus Sandberg. However, he insisted the move to bring in a new goalkeeper was no reflection on 19-year-old Kleton Perntreou, who was called upon recently when Oxley suffered a back injury. He said: “Kleton is still young. Hopefully he will have a bright future but while it might be okay for him to play one or two games I’m not too sure it would be right for his development to put that burden on him. I was always looking to bring in a more experienced No.2.”

Hibs Under-20s face Falkirk at Falkirk Stadium tonight (7pm kick-off).