HIBERNIAN manager Pat Fenlon hopes to secure the signing of Scott Robertson from Blackpool today, as well as finally settling the future of Jorge Claros for the rest of the season.
Former Dundee United midfielder Robertson has agreed to part company with the English club, while Claros’s parent club Motagua announced last week that he had already extended his loan spell at Easter Road.
But Fenlon denied that was the case, and said he had omitted Claros from his squad for yesterday’s goalless draw at Aberdeen because the Honduran had been unsettled by the prolonged negotiations about his future. “We just felt that his head hasn’t been right the last couple of days. We need to get his future sorted out. I had a good chat with him yesterday, and after that I just felt that he probably wasn’t in the frame of mind to play.” Asked about the Motagua statement that agreement had been reached to extend Claros’s stay in Edinburgh, Fenlon continued: “No, that’s not the case. He hasn’t signed for us yet. We’re working on that at the moment. We’ve been working on it for a while. We’ve been trying to work it out for the last three or four weeks and it’s been slowed up. Hopefully by Monday we’ll have a resolution. We’ve been speaking to Scott. Hopefully by Monday we should be able to add him to the squad as well. Jorge’s situation we need to find out first. But hopefully Scott will join up with us.”
While it appears likely that both players will agree terms, the manager’s wording of those last remarks leaves open the possibility that Robertson will only join if Claros does not.
Fenlon was unhappy with his team’s play at Aberdeen, especially in the first half, but at least took comfort from a result which keeps Hibs fourth in the SPL. “Although we didn’t play well, we picked up a point, which I suppose is the real positive in a clean sheet,” he said. “Aberdeen were the better side and had the better chances. The second half was a bit better than the first half, but we’ve been saying that now for a few weeks. We’ve got to make sure we start games better – we didn’t start well enough today or last weekend. We did improve in the second half slightly.”
Fenlon accepted that as Aberdeen took the game to his side in the first half, he had expected to go behind. “When you’re under the cosh like that you’re thinking it’s a matter of time. And then obviously the penalty save [from Niall McGinn] maybe gives us more heart. But we need to start better than that. They were sharper than us and their movement was better than ours in the first half. But at the end of the day we picked up a point, which I suppose is all that matters.”
Aberdeen manager Craig Brown was far happier overall with the way his team had played, particularly as several of his players are still making their way back to full fitness following injury, and others are still out – Russell Anderson having missed the game because of a knock sustained in training.
Brown, however, was also frustrated that his team had failed to capitalise on the superiority they enjoyed for much of the 90 minutes, “That was an example of so many games we’ve had here,” he said. “That was the fourth 0-0 result we’ve had, and on every occasion I felt we dominated the game.
“We need to be more clinical in front of goal, it’s as simple as that. And when you miss a penalty, that’s the ultimate in a missed chance.
“But if you’re an informed observer watching that, you’d see the team is playing well, and I’m delighted that that’s the case. You’ve got to be pleased with the way they played, but not with the way they’re finishing. Hibs will be a lot better next week – I’m sure of that. The quality of McPake and Hanlon in defence was excellent.”
Brown added that Peter Pawlett would be disciplined if the club agreed with referee Craig Thomson that he had dived in an attempt to win a penalty. The incident, which resulted in Pawlett being booked, occurred shortly before the home team were awarded a spot-kick.