Hibernian head coach Alan Stubbs admits he is glad to finally be in the position to allow star midfielder John McGinn a well-earned break.
The Easter Road outfit do not play this weekend because of the early rounds of the Scottish Cup and Stubbs has taken the opportunity to hand his players and staff a few days off.
It is something he had hoped to already have given McGinn, who has started all 17 games since making his debut for the club as a substitute in the defeat by Dumbarton on the opening day of the league season.
The former St Mirren youngster has also packed in four outings as skipper of the Scotland under-21 side since the start of the campaign.
However, such has been the importance of the 21-year-old to Hibs’ promotion challenge, Stubbs has resisted the temptation to rest the energetic playmaker.
He said: “I’ll be honest, I’ve been looking to try to give John a break, because he’s played a lot of games. But because of his performances and because he keeps going I’ve decided just to keep going with him. The players have got a few days off and if anyone has earned that rest then John McGinn has earned that rest.”
McGinn threaded the key pass through for Jason Cummings to net his 14th goal of the season and defeat Alloa Athletic 1-0 at the weekend, a result that took Hibs level on points with league leaders Rangers at the top of the Championship. It was a hard-fought victory for the capital men, who have now won 14 and drawn one of their last 15 matches. Stubbs believes his squad’s ability to “find a way to win” for a ninth consecutive game in the league and cup augurs well for their ambitions of staging a title challenge this season.
He added: “We knew Saturday was going to be a difficult game but the most important thing is you win 1-0. If you look at teams who are looking to win leagues, they have to go away and roll up their sleeves and win games, sometimes by a scruffy 1-0 or sometimes by a comfortable 4-0. You have to be able to be adaptable to each game, because they’re all different and they all are very different on their own merits.”