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Alan Maybury ban gives Pat Fenlon Hibs dilemma

Hibs boss Pat Fenlon, left, must juggle his resources due to injuries and Alan Maybury being hit by a one-game ban. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Hibs boss Pat Fenlon, left, must juggle his resources due to injuries and Alan Maybury being hit by a one-game ban. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Hibs boss Pat Fenlon has been dealt another defensive blow ahead of Saturday’s crucial SPL clash with Inverness Caley as it was revealed Alan Maybury will miss the “must-win” match through suspension.

The veteran defender has been hit with a one-game ban after picking up his sixth booking of the season as Hibs’ hopes of finishing in the top six suffered a setback as they were crushed 4-1 by Motherwell a fortnight ago.

Fenlon already has centre-half Paul Hanlon ruled out as he struggles to shake off a hip injury, while fellow defender Tim Clancy has only enjoyed 65 minutes of action with the club’s Under-20 side in the last two months as he’s recovered from a hamstring problem.

Fenlon initially covered for Clancy’s absence by slotting left-sided midfielder Lewis Stevenson in at right back, with Maybury taking over that berth when Hanlon was injured. This move saw Stevenson switch to left back, with Northern Ireland internationalist Ryan McGivern joining skipper James McPake in central defence.

Clancy had hoped to get some further game time under his belt last week, but the Under-20s match against Aberdeen was postponed. Nevertheless, given the situation, Fenlon may have to gamble by pitching the former Kilmarnock and Motherwell star straight back in against Caley.

The Easter Road manager conceded it wasn’t an ideal situation but insisted that as an experienced player Clancy should be able to cope, admitting that with a top six place at stake and a Scottish Cup semi-final against Falkirk on the horizon it was important to have as many of his first-choice players at his disposal.

 

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