Family scare and weather chaos make it a nightmare week for Hibs midfielder

THE winter weather has meant a chaotic week for millions of people up and down the country - and none more so than Hibs star John Rankin.

The midfielder, who lives in the west of Scotland, has been unable to make it to training because of the heavy snow this week and instead has been forced to traipse back and forwards to a public gym near his parent's home in Airdrie in a bid to keep his fitness up to scratch.

But the weather and travel problems have been the least of Rankin's worries after his baby son, Luca, fell ill on Monday night and was rushed into hospital.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The six-month-old was taken by ambulance with breathing difficulties and was kept in overnight but, thankfully, is now back home and on the road to recovery.

To top off a week that he'll never forget - for all the wrong reasons - Rankin and the rest of his team-mates were last night told that they will have no game this weekend after the SPL cancelled all of the top-flight matches because of the poor weather conditions that have swept across the country.

Rankin admits he will be glad to see the back of the last few days and is looking forward to getting back to training with the rest of the squad at the start of next week.

He said: "The snow has been terrible for everyone this week, and I think I would be about waist deep in it!

"Because I've not been able to make it through to Edinburgh, I've had to go along to the local gym and plod along myself.

"It's been a bit bizarre because it feels like you're injured or something like that because you're just working away on your own.

"I've been doing my cardio stuff on the machines as much as possible but obviously you do get frustrated because you're there by yourself.

"There aren't even many people about because the weather has been so bad that most folk have not even been able to get along there themselves.

"I was in there on my own yesterday."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Rankin conceded that events at the beginning of the week made it almost impossible to focus on football but is hoping that the worst is now behind him.

Little Luca was kept in for two nights as medics monitored his condition and Rankin conceded that having him back home has lifted a huge weight off his mind.

He continued: "It's not been a great week, we had to get the paramedics out with the ambulance because we couldn't get out with the way the weather was.

"Obviously it was a worrying time and it kind of takes your focus away for a few days, you've just got to try to keep everything ticking over at the same as keeping the wee boy company and give my wife, Marie, a break at the same time. He's a bit better now and hopefully that's him on the mend."

With more heavy snow forecast for the next few days, Rankin is likely to be training on his own for the rest of the week.

A number of the Hibs stars have not managed to make it in to the club's East Mains training facility because of conditions on the roads and Rankin continued: "We're obviously all trying our hardest to get to training but I spoke to the manager and he said that safety comes first. A few of the boys got stuck yesterday morning on their way in.

"Kevin McBride is just along the road from me and couldn't get out.

"Mark Brown managed to get out of his estate but then couldn't get onto the motorway. Sol Bamba only got as far as the Forth Road Bridge but it was closed and I don't think Derek Riordan managed to get very far either.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Even the boys who are fairly local to the training centre have struggled to get in. Training is scheduled for the rest of the week but we'll all just have to see how it goes.

"If the weather continues the way that it has been over the last few days then I think we might all be in the same boat again and we'll all just have to do as much as we can on our own."

While Rankin was disappointed at the decision to cancel the card this weekend, he admitted that it was probably in everyone's best interests to announce the decision so early in the week.

Last week, the Hibs stars trained all week without knowing if their game against St Johnstone would be able to go ahead because of the referees' strike.

He's keen to get back to playing football again as soon as possible, particularly after the disappointing share of the spoils the Easter Road side were forced to settle for in that clash with Derek McInnes' men.

With Riordan again available after suspension, Valdas Trakys fit again, Rankin believes Hibs can again find their cutting edge.

"It would have been good to have a game because it would have given us a chance to get back on track, we were all really disappointed at the way the St Johnstone match went for us.

"At the same time, though, the manager stressed after it that there were still positives to take from the game.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It was our second clean sheet of the season, so obviously we were defending better than the week before when we lost four goals.

"We want to build on that and, at the other end of the park, Derek is back again after his suspension," Rankin explained.

"Big Valdas has managed to shake off the calf injury that he had and, if we can get our strikers back, then we can definitely score goals at the other end as well."