ALAN STUBBS believes Hibs will have plenty of firepower as they begin their assault on the Championship after adding former Falkirk hitman Farid El Alagui to his squad.
A lack of goals – just 31 scored in 38 matches – was a major factor behind the Easter Road club being relegated, but now new head coach Stubbs reckons his side won’t be found wanting this season.
However, he did admit he’s looking for his frontmen to be more ruthless in front of goal having watched the Capital club let Dunfermline off the hook in their latest pre-season match. They dominatied the game for much of the 90 minutes, but failed to score although that, to a great extent, was due to a five-star performance from Pars goalkeeper Ryan Scully, who pulled off a string of superb saves including a penalty stop from Liam Craig.
Nonetheless, Stubbs pointed out his team, which has scored eight in their previous two outings against Vale of Leithen and Berwick Rangers, had drawn a blank without their main two strikers, El Alagui and the injured Paul Heffernan.
And, with teenagers Jason Cummings and Lewis Allan having been on the scoresheet in the past couple of weeks, the head coach insisted he’s happy with how his squad is coming together.
He said: “I think the fans will have taken encouragement from the number of chances we are making as a team. On another night we’d have won the game [against Dunfermline] comfortably, but I told the players we need to have a ruthless edge to us where we are not in a position of holding on to a game after controlling the majority of it.
“We’ve seen it in games where you can have complete control and lose 1-0 because you have not put a couple of chances away. The opposition then get a bit of confidence from that when they should be three or four down.
“But having said that, our two most recognised strikers have not been in the team yet so that’s very positive.
“We have a nice balance now. Farid is going to give us not just that extra bit of quality but a presence which is important. Paul is going to score goals at this level, no problem.
“We have Jason Cummings who is the new kid on the block. He’s come in and had an impact although he is still a little bit of a rough diamond. Then we have Lewis Allan whose performance against Dunfermline, I thought, was full of optimism.”
Meanwhile, Stubbs has taken 25-year-old Frenchman Antoine Gounet on trial as he looks for an experienced goalkeeper. Gounet spent part of last season on trial with Fulham having left Brentford the previous season.
Hibs will wrap up their pre-season programme with a friendly against English Championship outfit Watford at Easter Road on Sunday, July 27.