PAT Fenlon today insisted David Wotherspoon can still have a bright future at Easter Road despite axing the Scotland Under-21 internationalist from his Scottish Cup final squad.
Wotherspoon found himself falling down the pecking order at the end of the season, starting just one of Hibs’ last seven SPL matches – the clash with Inverness Caley on the final day – and failed to even make the bench for the Hampden showdown with Hearts.
However, English League One side Sheffield United have been monitoring Wotherspoon’s situation with Blades boss Danny Wilson impressed by the 22-year-old’s displays.
Today, though, Fenlon was adamant there had been no contact whatsover from Bramall Lane regarding Wotherspoon and admitted leaving the midfielder sitting in the stand as Hibs went down 5-1 to their arch-rivals was probably a mistake on his part.
Wotherspoon is under contract at Easter Road until the summer of 2014 and while Fenlon believes last season wasn’t a great one for the Perth-born youngster, he hopes the player will return for the new campaign feeling he has a point to prove.
Fenlon is well aware of just how disappointed Wotherspoon was to miss out against Hearts having come off the bench to play a part in helping Hibs defeat Aberdeen in the semi-final and, on reflection, he now feels he should perhaps have had him in reserve for the final.
The Irishman said: “It was a very difficult decision to leave him out as he had done well in the semi and probably I should have had him on the bench as he was one who could probably have helped us from an attacking point-of-view.
“But he is very much in the plans. Last year wasn’t a great one for him but I hope he comes back, refreshed and wants to prove a point. He’s shown what he is capable of doing but I feel he just needs to have a bit more confidence in himself.
“He is such a good lad and his attitude to training is top class.”
Meanwhile, former Hearts striker Kevin Kyle has claimed Hibs are on his trail after receiving a call from Fenlon’s No. 2 Billy Brown. He said: “I returned from honeymoon and had a message on my phone from Billy who said Pat Fenlon had asked him to give me a call.
“Billy knows me well from when we were both at Hearts, I’ll speak to Hibs and take it from there.”
• Hibs have revealed their pre-season friendly against Union Berlin which was to have taken place at Easter Road on July 25 has been cancelled after the German Bundesliga 2 outfit pulled out of the match.
However, Hibs are now in urgent talks with the club’s representatives who have proposed the possibility of reversing the fixture to play in Berlin either that night or the night before.
As such, they have advised fans who are thinking of travelling to Belgium for Hibs’ pre-season tour to consider delaying making firm arrangements until the situation is clarified.
Hibs have also disclosed that the opening match of their Belgian tour on Wednesday, July 18, with now be against Lierse SK, a club from Lier, and not Charleroi.