KEVIN Thomson’s future at Hibernian is in serious doubt this morning following reports last night that the midfielder has been told he is surplus to requirements at Easter Road.
It was reported that new Hibs manager Terry Butcher has informed 29-year-old Thomson that he is free to leave during the current transfer window – and that the player has been left deeply upset by the decision after he played for the team for free last year.
Thomson, who was in his second spell at Easter Road after returning last season following his release from Middlesbrough, has made only two susbstitute appearances for Hibs since Butcher, the former Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager, took over from Pat Fenlon in November last year.
Butcher does not appear to see Thomson in his future plans, and the same can be said of team-mates Tim Clancy, Tom Taiwo and Rowan Vine, who have all also reportedly been told they can start looking for other clubs.
Vine conceded yesterday that he has been told by Butcher that he will struggle to break into the Hibs team but the 31-year-old is still waiting for confirmation over his future at Easter Road.
The 31-year-old forward, signed by Pat Fenlon from St Johnstone last summer, has made six competitive starts in a total of 13 appearances this season. Since Butcher arrived in November, however, the closest Vine has come to game time is as an unused substitute in the Scottish Cup win at Ross County that month.
“It does not take a rocket scientist to work out that I have not featured since the manager came in,” said Vine. “Reading between the lines, it will probably be the case that the club will tell me I’m free to go.
“I have had one conversation with the manager and he told me it would be difficult to get game time because he is obviously going with other people at the moment. There are not many times that I’ve been at a football club and not been involved. The minute it’s happened at any other clubs, I’ve tried to get myself away. If I’m not on the pitch and not in the squad, it does not matter if I’m 19 or 31, it means I’ve got to go and play football.
“The only time I’ve sat and finished a contract is at QPR off the back of injuries and a lot of things happening.
“I’ve maybe gone on loan ten times so that’s my attitude; if I am not playing then I have to get out. It does not matter what age you are, you want to play. I want to play this Saturday, next Saturday, last Saturday – that’s the way I am. If it’s the best thing for me to get out and play football, I’ll be trying to do that.”
Vine – who counts Hibs as his 12th professional club – has been in the game long enough not to get too down about his predicament.
Vine, who last featured in the 9 November loss to Inverness, added: “There are no hard feelings about it. The game is about opinions although I’m disappointed that I have not been given a chance under the new manager. I think I have started four league games, which is disappointing for me because I have not really settled or hit the ground running.
“I am my own biggest critic, I struggled a bit and then the team were struggling a bit. I am really disappointed I have not had a chance so far but that does not change the fact that I work hard.
“At my age you do start assessing the situation. If it is going to go the way that I can leave then I have to do what’s best for me, whether that’s staying up here, going back to England or anywhere. At this point in my career, every option is going to be looked at.”