Terry Butcher - Shedding players will freshen Hibs

Terry Butcher says Hibs have a big squad. Picture: SNS
Terry Butcher says Hibs have a big squad. Picture: SNS
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Terry Butcher claims the “natural shedding” of players will help to freshen up his Hibernian squad.

The Hibees boss, who took over at Easter Road in November, refused to confirm reports that Rowan Vine, Tom Taiwo, Tim Clancy and Kevin Thomson, who are all out of contract in the summer, have been told they are free to find other clubs during the January transfer window.

However, ahead of the Scottish Premiership clash against Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Friday night, Butcher did acknowledge that conversations have taken place and that changes are planned.

“My phone was besieged after the initial report came out,” said Butcher, when asked about the four aforementioned players.

“I certainly have had talks with players and with other managers, coaches and agents about bringing players in as well.

“Those conversations will remain private and I won’t say anything until something does happen either way.

“But when you have a squad as big as we have with experienced players who aren’t playing, then they are not going to be happy and sometimes you have to say, ‘look, I can’t offer you this or that, it is probably best if you move on’.

“It is very amicable, it is part of football life.

“There is a natural shedding of players when it comes to the January transfer window as well as the summer when the contracts are up.

“It is a natural progression where players move on but I don’t have to get players out to get players in.

“I am looking to get new faces in, we certainly want to freshen things up but it is hard, you generally don’t do much business until the last two week.”

Hibs travel to Aberdeen having lost only to Celtic in nine games since Butcher took over.

The former England captain is a fan of Friday night football and is looking forward to the trip to Pittodrie.

“The game against Aberdeen is shaping up to be a cracker,” he said.

“Both teams are on form, both are scoring goals and both will want to have a go at each other, so it should be a good game.”

One of several Hibs players who have returned to form is midfielder Lewis Stevenson who put it down to one-to-one sessions with sports psychologist David Yeoman, whom Butcher brought to the club.

“I am probably enjoying my football for the first time in as long as I remember,” said the 26-year-old who made his debut in 2005.

“I have had a few one-on-ones with David and it has worked for me.

“It might not work for everyone.

“I don’t know if I was a negative person before, a bit of a pessimist but I have tried to change my perspective and so far it has worked.

“I am going into games with a clear mind and looking forward to them, thinking we can win rather than hoping we can win.

“In the past I was maybe dwelling on mistakes I made but now I am thinking that if I do make a mistake, I won’t make it the next time.

“It helps when the team is doing better and we have been on a decent run since the manager came in, only Celtic have beaten us.

“There is a lot of positivity in the team and everyone wants to go in the right direction.”