Hibs’ defence backed to deal with Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos on return

Mickey Weir has backed Hibs’ experienced defenders to frustrate Rangers dangerman Alfredo Morelos if he returns to action on Sunday following his four-game suspension

Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 6:30 am
Hibs defenders David Gray and Darren McGregor. Pic: SNS

The Colombian striker has been banned for the past month after being shown a fifth red card of the season against Celtic at the end of March, but he is free to return to the side for this weekend’s showdown with Hibs at Ibrox.

Rangers have won all four games in the absence of Morelos, so there is no guarantee that Morelos will start on Sunday, but if he does get the nod from manager Steven Gerrard, all eyes will be on the hotheaded hitman. Former Easter Road winger Weir is confident that Hibs’ in-form back four of David Gray, Darren McGregor, Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson can ensure a difficult afternoon for the 22-year-old attacker.

“We’ve got a settled back four with great experience and its showing at the moment,” said Evening News columnist Weir. “It’s great having that type of base, especially going to a place like Ibrox. These boys have all experienced it before and they’ve played against Morelos before. He’s certainly got the ability so he’ll be a danger if he plays but he’s also caused himself a lot of problems with his antics on the pitch. The likes of Hanlon and McGregor will know all about his temperament and that’s something they can play on. Mark him closely and see if he can handle it because he’s shown before that he doesn’t like it.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

While Hibs have been strong defensively recently – as evidenced by the fact they have conceded only three goals in their last six games – they have started to find goals harder to come by in recent matches, with Daryl Horgan the only player to find the net in the last four outings. Weir believes it may be worth pitching the fit-again creative midfielder Ryan Gauld into action on Sunday in an effort to make the team more threatening. The on-loan Sporting Lisbon midfielder hasn’t featured since suffering a hamstring injury away to Celtic almost three months ago but has been on the bench for the last two matches.

“The only negative about us at the moment is that we don’t look like scoring a lot of goals,” he said. “We’re organised and keeping the ball out the net but we need to find that we bit extra at the other end. Somebody like Ryan Gauld might make a difference. It would be a tough game for him to be thrown into but he’s fresh and he’s certainly got the ability. There would be no better place than Ibrox for him to come in and put on a performance.”