James McPake makes Hibs switch permanent on two-year deal

James McPake last night insisted the embarrassment of May’s Scottish Cup final hammering from Hearts made him more eager to re-join Hibs and make up for that Hampden humiliation.

Hibs finally succeeded in landing their number one summer signing target when McPake agreed a two-year move from Coventry City.

The 28-year-old made it clear to the Easter Road outfit as far back as before the final in May that he was willing to give up on the lucrative last 12 months on his contract south of the border to return to the capital following a successful loan spell at the club.

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With a £100,000 fee initially having been mooted, in the end, Hibs, after weeks of protracted negotiations, got their man without having to pay a transfer fee.

Having joined in January, McPake was installed as skipper by manager Pat Fenlon and was inspirational as the Leith outfit successfully avoided relegation and advanced to their ill-fated 5-1 defeat from city rivals Hearts.

“The cup final was the only real negative, it was just so disappointing for everyone,” said McPake.

“But, if anything, it made me more up for coming back to try and make up for that, although it’s not something we can dwell on. It’s a new season and we have to look forward to trying to give the supporters the successful football team they deserve.

“I’m excited to be part of what will be a new-look Hibernian team and I’m looking forward to playing my part in bringing success back to this football club.”

There was no doubting Fenlon’s delight at McPake’s return to Hibs.

The Irishman said: “Every team needs a strong leader and James is my captain – he leads by example and sets himself high standards.

“He made a really positive impact during his loan spell and moving forward he will play a major role in the ongoing development of the club over the next few seasons.”