DCSIMG

Baptism of fire for Junior Agogo

Junior AGOGO could be handed a baptism of fire against SPL title hopefuls Celtic this weekend if Hibs can ascertain he's a free agent following his exit from Cypriot club Apollon Limassol.

Easter Road boss Colin Calderwood is keen to sign the Ghanaian internationalist to strengthen his strikeforce while a bid has also been made to bring former Celtic hitman Cillian Sheridan to Edinburgh.

Calderwood had hoped to play 31-year-old Agogo in his side's final pre-season match at Falkirk last night but a training ground knock allied to the need to ensure the much-travelled forward is free to sign saw him sit out the 1-1 draw.

However, Calderwood, who signed Agogo for Nottingham Forest, whom he helped win promotion to the English Championship, remains hopeful of snapping up both his former player and Sheridan, who has returned to CSKA Sofia in Bulgaria following a successful trial period in the Capital.

Agogo, a star of Ghana's 2008 African Nations' Cup campaign, was axed by Limassol after suffering a serious knee injury, from which he has now recovered, in February, but Hibs want his status clearly determined before asking him to put pen to paper.

Calderwood said: "Junior is still here but there's been a problem with the clearance. He's fit but took a little knock in the second day of training and that, added to not having clarification and certainty he was clear to play, meant he couldn't play last night.

"But he is one we certainly hope to progress. I've spoken to him about that and he could, in theory, be available for the weekend. If we could do it, I would push to do that." With a medial knee ligament injury having ruled Akpo Sodje out of the opening games of the season Calderwood has been left relying on Garry O'Connor and teenage forward David Crawford to find the goals in Hibs' final warm-up matches.

The lack of options currently available to him was evident

at Falkirk as the Easter Road side had to rely on a late equaliser from defender Paul Hanlon although Bairns goalkeeper Michael McGovern did pull off a string of notable saves to deny O'Connor, Matt Thornhill, David Wotherspoon and Edwin de Graaf.

While hopeful Agogo will get the green light before Sunday's visit from Celtic, Calderwood revealed his bid to bring Sheridan back to the SPL was still very much alive. Having seen his switch to Bulgaria turn sour, the Republic of Ireland striker is keen to move on and is said to have been impressed by Hibs and receptive to a loan deal.

Today, Calderwood said: "There is an offer there, to Cillian at the start, but in reality it's an offer to his club. We have to get a reply so we will sit and wait."

If successful, Calderwood admitted he didn't envisage any further arrivals, saying: "I think it we could complete them (Agogo and Sheridan] that would be good ammunition for us."

Meanwhile, Calderwood was again forced to dwell on his own future after Birmingham City boss Chris Hughton insisted his bid to lure his former No.?2 at Newcastle United to join him at the Championship outfit was "a work in progress."

Calderwood insisted he'd "definitely" be in the home dug-out for Sunday's lunchtime kick-off, claiming he'd blanked out the speculation linking him with a move to either Birmingham or Forest and adamant the uncertainty hadn't affected his players.

He said: "I don't think the players wonder about my situation. It is not a relevant question for them, all they are interested in is whether or not they'll be in the team.

"As for the talk down south, I don't know anything about it."

 
 
 

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