FRASER Fyvie knows Rangers’ new signing Rob Kiernan well from their time together at Wigan and revealed he is capable of bullying those he comes up against. But he stressed that no-one at Hibernian will be intimidated by the fact they will again have to go up against the Ibrox side in the quest to escape the Scottish Championship.
Kiernan contacted his former team-mate before signing for Mark Warburton, and although Fyvie believes Rangers have made a quality addition, he is relishing the challenge of playing against the defender.
“He asked about Scottish football in general and the club, and obviously I have never been there but from the outskirts it is a huge club and the fan base is sensational and it was probably hard for him to turn down,” said midfielder Fyvie.
“But I’m looking forward to playing against him this year. He is a very good guy and I think he is a good acquisition for Rangers. He is good on the ball and anything you put in the air, he is winning it. He is a big guy and loves the gym, so he can bully people and he is not short of a bit of pace either, and he can spray it, to be fair to him.
“We played there [at Wigan]together a few times in the reserves but he went out on loan a fair few times more than I did. But he is a good lad and I will look forward to meeting up with him. I’ve not spoken to him since he has signed but I’m sure I will get a text from him or I will text him in the next few days.”
Having signed up for the final six months of last season in Leith, Fyvie admits that spending another campaign in the second tier made him pause and ponder before signing on for another two years, but he says a combination of several factors swayed things.
Stressing how much he has enjoyed his time at Hibs after things failed to progress the way he had hoped during his spell down south, an understanding that there are few bigger clubs in the Premier League, allied to the belief that Hibs can improve on last term convinced him to pledge his immediate future to Alan Stubbs’ side.
It was Rangers who halted Hibs’ play-off progress last month, and having come up short themselves in the final, against Motherwell, they will be keen to prove the fly in the ointment again this season.
Fyvie is not underestimating Rangers’ threat but is not convinced it will simply be a two-way battle.
“St Mirren are a good club and have a good stadium and training facilities and I’m sure Ian Murray will put a good team together. I think people are writing them off already and saying it’s between Hibs and Rangers but there are some good teams in the league. Queen of the South done well last year and got into the play-offs and there is St Mirren so it won’t just be between Hibs and Rangers. It will be a bit harder than that, I’m sure.”
The difficulty level would be greater without his midfield colleague, Scott Allan, said 22-year-old Fyvie, who was delighted to learn that Allan had pledged to honour his contract at Hibs.
“He is a game changer. If you pick out any player in our team as game changer, you look at Scott. If you want to grab a goal or get an assist – I think he set up around 20 goals last season – he is the one. He is the man you go to for a creative spark.
“So, if Scott’s said that he’s staying, that’s fantastic. Everybody saw last year that he was the best player in the league. I’m hoping he can do the same for us this year,” said Fyvie.
“From the things you see in training and what he does on the pitch, he’s up there with the best I’ve played with. Some of the things he does, you think ‘how did he do that?’ He’s good to play with – he’s one of those guys that, if you’re in trouble, you just give him the ball and he’ll deal with it.
“I’ll be surprised if big clubs don’t come in for him, but the fact he’s said he’ll stay is massive for the club. He’s obviously seen from last year that this is a good team with a great bunch of boys. Everything about the club is fantastic. If he can stay here for another year, win promotion and get player of the year again, then he’d be in a good position to get a big move from there if that’s what he wants to do.”