Drey Wright Hibs situation explained as Shaun Maloney discusses winger's first start in eight months

Never really pivotal to former gaffer Jack Ross’ plans, after a season of trying and failing to nail down a place in HIbs’ starting line-up, Drey Wright looked to be heading out the door in the summer as part payment in a deal that would have seen him switch clubs with St Mirren’s Jamie McGrath.
Drey Wright has been given a fresh start at Hibs under Shaun Maloney. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)Drey Wright has been given a fresh start at Hibs under Shaun Maloney. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Drey Wright has been given a fresh start at Hibs under Shaun Maloney. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

And, although the clock ran out on that transaction, many assumed it was only a matter of time before the 26-year-old left Leith for more regular first team action.

He was one of those touted to be moving on in January but when the transfer window opens on Saturday he may not be climbing through it with the same degree of urgency after new boss Shaun Maloney gave him his first start of the season in the Boxing Day victory over Dundee United.

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Pleased with the midfielder’s contribution, Maloney said Wright had been given the same clean slate as every other player he inherited.

“I brought Drey in on the basis of what I have seen in training.

“He’s someone who understands the position I asked him to play and that was relevant for the Dundee United game.

“I didn’t know he hadn’t started for eight months, so to come in and play like he did was top from him. He can be very happy with his contribution and can enjoy his break now and come back ready to work hard ahead of the second half of the season.”

Determined to weigh up his options before finalising deals in and out, Maloney said that the way individuals performed for his predecessors was irrelevant.

“Whatever they did in the past under the previous manager or managers before that, I am neutral about that. They will all get opportunities.

“If there are players who have offers and want to pursue something elsewhere then I will support them in that. But there will definitely be players who may not have played much that I want to keep.”

In the summer, it was no secret that the Easter Road club were in the market for a defender and a striker and their inability to provide quality backup in those areas contributed to their exit from Europe and had a detrimental effect on results. It is unlikely they will make the same mistake twice.

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“I said at the start I would always prioritise what’s in the building,” reiterated Maloney, who has enjoyed two wins in his first two outings. “Although, I do think we are light in certain positions.

“There is a tough schedule coming up when we get back playing again, so we will look at one or two areas of the team.”

US winger Chris Mueller is already in training ahead of his contract kicking in and there are plans for others to join but Maloney has ruled out a complete overhaul. He would like to see all business completed early, though.

“I can’t see lots of players coming in, but we will assess it. We will look at what we already have because we will need everyone at some point.

“Ideally we would have any new players on the first day back but that’s me speaking as a coach and I understand things don’t always work as easily as that.”

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