Hibs boss closes in on new faces
Pat Fenlon says he is looking to add to his squad in January.
Pat Fenlon has revealed he is close to securing some new signings to help his injury-hit squad in their relegation battle.
The need for reinforcements at Easter Road has been made even more important in recent weeks following injuries to goalkeeper Graham Stack, Garry O’Connor and captain Ian Murray.
Stack is expected to be out for at least two weeks with a calf injury suffered in last weekend’s Edinburgh derby and will definitely miss this weekend’s Scottish Cup tie at Cowdenbeath.
O’Connor has been struggling with a toe injury in recent weeks and was only able to come on for the last five minutes of the loss to their city rivals, which keeps them just one point ahead of Dunfermline at the foot of the table.
Captain Ian Murray has had surgery on his troublesome hip and is expected to be out for at least two weeks.
Fenlon told Hibernian TV that he also hopes to bolster his squad further in the January transfer window having already tied up Eoin Doyle this month.
He said: "We're close to a couple of things, but until they are over the line I don't want our supporters getting their hopes up too much.
"We're looking to bring in players who will improve the squad and help us in the fight we're in until the end of the season."
Fenlon is staying optimistic despite the injury problems, he said: "Graham is struggling and he'll be out for a couple of weeks minimum. He injured his calf against Hearts and that is a bit of a blow for us.
"But the good thing is we've got a top-class goalkeeper [Mark Brown] coming in to replace him.
"Garry O'Connor is still out. He is resting his toe and we're just seeing if we can get him back to 100% fitness before he comes back into training.
"He has been training and playing for the past month with an injury. I think the time had come to give him a break.
"We've got some big games coming up, but we've also got a lot of the season left. So rather than just having him just half-right or 70% fit, we wanted to get him back to being 100% fit.
"Ian Murray had an operation today, so he'll be out for the next two or three weeks. He's had a couple of minor injuries in the hip area and hopefully this will resolve the problem once and for all."
On the positive side for the Hibernian boss, midfielder Isaiah Osbourne could return for next weekend’s crucial bottom of the table clash at Dunfermline, and the Irishman is also hoping to extend Leigh Griffiths stay in Leith.
Griffiths current loan deal at Easter Road ends on January 9 but Hibs are in talks with the striker’s parent club Wolves in order to extend his loan spell.
Fenlon said: “It's still where it is - it hasn't moved on. We want to keep Leigh and he wants to stay. Wolves have also made their position clear.
"There is still some negotiating that needs to take place between the two clubs and hopefully that can be resolved. I'd love to hang on to Leigh."