Falkirk 1 - 1 Hibernian: Colin Calderwood 'definitely' in charge for SPL opener

HIBERNIAN manager Colin Calderwood last night brushed off fresh question marks over his future at the club when he insisted he would still be in charge come Sunday's SPL opener against Celtic.

With Birmingham City counterpart Chris Hughton claiming his attempts to lure his former Newcastle No 2 to St Andrew's remain a 'work in progress', Calderwood was forced to cope with new speculation he is on the verge of being lured back south of the border.

The concerns raised by his side's draw against First Division Falkirk - thanks to a late equaliser from Paul Hanlon -will be enough to occupy the former Scotland defender in the coming days as he prepares his side for the visit of Celtic on the back of a pre-season which, in many respects, has not gone according to plan.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

When asked whether he would still be in place come Sunday's match, he replied: "Yeah, definitely. I don't really think about it until I come to question time and then it's posed in front of me. You get on with it. It was there maybe two or three weeks ago but really what you are doing is your work."

One glaring issue raised by Hibs' performance last night was the lack of fire-power in attack, something Calderwood is hopeful could be solved in time for the arrival of Celtic this weekend. An offer is on the table to CSKA Sofia for former Parkhead marksman Cillian Sheridan following his recent trial spell, and Ghana internationalist Junior Agogo remains at the club, with a deal possible before Sunday should international clearance be secured in the wake of his exit from Cypriot club Apollon Limassol.

Calderwood added: "Junior's still here. We had a problem with the clearance and making sure he's certified. He looks fit, he's just taken a little knock in the second day of training. I've spoken to Junior about that, that he could, in theory, be available for the weekend. And if we could do that I would push to do that.

"There's an offer there to Cillian but in reality it's an offer to the club. You've got to get a reply. We'll sit and wait but we hope to have it shortly because we need to know, obviously." Falkirk took the lead after just three minutes. Keeper Mark Brown sparked the concerns when he misjudged a skidding cross from Falkirk's new recruit Farid Allagui and failed to inform Scott Taggart of the time he enjoyed on the apex of the six-yard box.

When the young full-back then conceded a needless corner, the SPL side's inability to deal with the set-piece will have caused alarm. Mark Millar's curling delivery caught Brown on his heels and slack marking allowed on-loan Bolton Wanderers defender Rhys Bennett to ghost in at the back post and head in from close range.

Garry O'Connor cut an isolated and often frustrated figure up front on his own, with Ivan Sproule and Crawford's support too fleeting.

Calderwood responded to the drab first-half showing by introducing Hanlon and O'Hanlon for David Stephens and Lewis Stevenson and pushing Murray into midfield in an altered 4-2-3-1 formation.Instantly, there was more purpose about Hibs and O'Connor had a header saved by Falkirk keeper Michael McGovern and Matt Thornhill had a shot deflected wide.

McGovern was finally beaten ten minutes from time when substitute Scott Smith's low corner was dummied by Edwin de Graaf and thumped into the net by Hanlon.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Falkirk: McGovern; Duffie, Dods (Wallace 66), Bennett (Flynn 55), Kingsley; Sibbald (Fulton 70), Alston, Millar, Murdoch, Higginbotham; Allagui (Graham 46). Subs not used: Bowman.

Hibernian: Brown; Taggart (Wotherspoon 66). Stephens (O'Hanlon 46), Murray (Horner 76), Booth (Smith 76); Thornhill (De Graaf 66), Palsson, Stevenson (Hanlon 46); Sproule (Galbraith 66), O'Connor (Scott 76), Crawford. Subs not used: Stack.