PAT FENLON today insisted that if his players show the same “application, attitude and desire” as displayed against Hearts then Hibs will haul themselves out of trouble.
Another derby-day defeat, Hibs’ sixth in a run which now stretches to nine games without a win over their Capital rivals, has heightened the threat of the Easter Road club and basement outfit Dunfermline finding themselves isolated at the foot of the SPL table.
Hibs and the Pars, beaten 3-0 by Celtic and a point behind the Edinburgh club with a game in hand, are now contemplating a massive clash at East End Park a week on Saturday.
But despite Hearts’ 3-1 win, Fenlon believes he’s detected signs that his players will come good and avoid becoming embroiled in a relegation dog-fight – aided by new arrivals during the January transfer window.
The Irishman has already returned to his homeland to snap up prolific Sligo Rovers striker Eoin Doyle – the hitman making a cameo appearance yesterday – and hopes to add further new faces with former Livingston defender James McPake, currently with English Championship side Coventry City said to be on his radar.
While revealing there were “one or two things bubbling away,” Fenlon refused to be drawn on the areas he hopes to strengthen, but in highlighting the fact Hibs are scoring too few goals and conceding too many, he added: “You can work that one out for yourself.
“We are looking to improve it [the squad] with the ones we have and in trying to bring others in. Until you have them over the line you are reluctant to say because it can backfire on you.
“But we are actively looking to bring players in to the club at the moment. It’s difficult to do that at this time of year but we are trying to freshen up the squad. There are one or two things bubbling away but we have to wait and see.”
Although Fenlon claimed the budget was there for him to do so without necessarily seeing players leave, he conceded that there will be departures over the next couple of weeks with Junior Agogo and Matt Thornhill having reportedly been told they can go while Akpo Sodje has become a fringe figure and didn’t feature in the derby squad.
Fenlon added: “There will be players that leave, but it is more important that we get some in.
“I thought we gave a decent performance in the second half and if we can get that, the application, attitude and desire in our games over the remaining games and add a bit of quality then we should be okay.”