Neil Lennon expects Israeli international goalkeeper Ofir Marciano to complete his move to Hibs today, revealing the 26-year-old will arrive at Easter Road as his No 1.
However, Lennon won’t make a decision on whether to pitch Marciano – who will sign a season-long loan deal – straight into the Capital club’s opening Championship match against Falkirk on Saturday.
Speaking after watching his side complete a “pleasing” pre-season programme with a comfortable 4-1 victory away to English League One side Shrewsbury Town, the Hibs head coach said: “Marciano should be in today and hopefully we’ll get it concluded.
“You are never happy until it is done, until you have got it over the line – that would be great. He will be coming in as No 1, that’s the plan. He’s an international goalkeeper who has very good attributes but we’ll wait and see how he is before making a decision about the weekend.”
Lennon pointed out that he has former Ross Laidlaw at his disposal, praising the former Raith Rovers goalkeeper’s performances against Danish club Brondby in the second leg of the Europa League tie in Copenhagen and again yesterday in Shropshire as “outstanding.”
But it was his team’s overall display at Greenhous Meadow which delighted Lennon, headers in the first six minutes from Liam Fontaine and Grant Holt giving Hibs a blistering start and, although former Dunfermline and Motherwell midfielder Jim O’Brien pulled one back for the hosts, Jason Cummings and James Keatings made it 16 goals in five pre-season friendlies.
Lennon said: “It was another quality performance. We got off to a good start, we played with a real intensity and quality. We could have won the game by more but to come here and play so well shows we are at a good level.”
Despite that impressive start, Lennon and his assistant Garry Parker could be heard throughout the match demanding more from their players, the head coach admitting he would love to see a repeat of that performance against Falkirk.
He said: “We want to play at that level of intensity and quality for prolonged periods. We made changes to give other boys the opportunity to play and I couldn’t have asked any more of them.
“We scored four great goals and defended pretty well in the main so I’m pleased. Goals are also coming from all over the pitch which is very pleasing.”