Hibs in twin euro boost with potential Swansea tie

Pat Fenlon's Hibs side will be boosted by the prospect of a plum tie against Swansea. Picture: SNS
Pat Fenlon's Hibs side will be boosted by the prospect of a plum tie against Swansea. Picture: SNS
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Hibs are set to get a double boost for their return match against Malmo as they chase a potentially money-spinning tie against English League Cup holders Swansea in the next round.

The Easter Road outfit trail the Swedes by two goals following the first leg but the prospect of meeting Michael Laudrup’s side is, according to goalkeeper Ben Williams, “a great incentive” for the Capital club.

Although Pat Fenlon and his players concede they face a “tough ask” on Thursday night to overhaul the Swedish League leaders, no-one has given up hope of making the Europa League’s third qualifying round.

And Hibs’ chances of doing so will rise if, as expected Ryan McGivern and Alex Harris are fit to take their place in the starting line-up.

McGivern was a frustrated onlooker as two goals in three minutes from Jiloan Hamad and Magnus Eriksson put Malmo firmly in charge of the tie, the victim of a knee injury while teenager Harris was on the bench having sustained a thigh problem.

However, Harris was deemed fit enough to be pitched into the action for the final 13 minutes in the Swedbank Stadion and Fenlon insisted he saw enough to believe the winger can cause Rikard Norling’s troops plenty of problems.

The Hibs boss said: “Alex caused them a problem when he came on. He got to the bye-line and pulled some balls back and hopefully he should be okay.

“I don’t think he has done any more damage to his thigh, He should be okay fo rthe second leg, I would think.

“We do not have loads of other changes to make. We have one or two that did not play that may have a chance of playing. We will wait and see over the next few days in training.

“Alex was carrying a knock and Ryan was out injured as well but he has a chance for next week. It’s a tough ask but it has been done before.”

Williams, who pulled off a string of stunning saves to keep Hibs in the tie, echoed his manager’s words and, like him,

retains a cautious optimism that Hibs will over-turn the deficit to face Swansea.

He said: “The draw is a great incentive for us, it’s a chance to play English Premier League opposition and earn money for the club to help strengthen the squad for the coming season.

“We need Easter Road as full and as hostile as possible. Our supporters were fantastic on Thursday night, the noise they made throughout was phenomenal and they have an important role to play.”

Hibs have reminded fans tickets for the visit of Malmo cost £15 (adults) and £5 (concessions) when bought in advance of the game.