MALMO skipper Jiloan Hamad today claimed the Swedish team are completely in the dark about Europa League rivals Hibs – other than the fact they are from Scotland.
While Pat Fenlon has had Thursday night’s opponents watched three times in the past 11 days – chief scout David Henderson watching both their first round qualifying matches against Irish outfit Drogheda and their league match with Atvidabergs yesterday, while the Easter Road boss joined him for the second leg of the Europa League tie – Malmo are struggling to build up a dossier on the Edinburgh club.
Within 24 hours of defeating Drogheda, manager Rikard Norling dispatched coach Jonni Fedel to Kirkcaldy on Friday night to watch Hibs draw 0-0 in their final pre-season match against First Division side Raith Rovers, only to see Fenlon’s players turn in what the Irishman conceded was a bitterly disappointing performance, one which he hopes will have left his counterpart ill-informed as to his team’s capabilities.
Fedel didn’t get a chance to see Fraser Mullen in action, the former Hearts defender an unused substitute while Kevin Thomson and ex-St Johnstone forward Rowan Vine, who signed in time to beat the Europa League deadline, also took no part although Thomson was at the game, looking on from the stand alongside former Celtic and Middlesbrough star Stephen McManus.
Thomson and ex-Birmingham and QPR hitman Vine will bring experience to his young squad, according to Fenlon who said: “Throughout the summer we have worked hard to identify and recruit the right players. Both Kevin and Rowan are exactly what we need – quality players with plenty of experience.
“It’s great we managed to finalise both deals before the UEFA deadline and the two players will be available for selection for the first match against Malmo.”
Although aware of the arrival of Thomson and Vine, Norling will only begin briefing his players tomorrow when they sit down to watch videos, Fedel having captured set plays, etc on an I-pad. Until then, though, 22-year-old Hamad admitted he and his team-mates’ knowledge of Hibs will remain somewhat sketchy. He said: “Hibernian? They are from Scotland, right? I don’t know anything about them.”
However, Malmo fired a warning to Hibs by moving three points clear at the top of the Allsvenskan with a 4-0 win in their Swedbank Stadion over Atvidabergs. Magunuss Erikkson scored twice before midfielder Erik Friberg and defender Emil Forsberg added further second-half goals.