Alan Stubbs today revealed he is keen to tie Lewis Stevenson down to a new contract as Hibs’ longest-serving player prepares to play his 250th game for the club.
Stevenson will become only the 60th player in the 140-year history of the club to pass that landmark in tomorrow’s Scottish Cup fifth-round tie against League Two leaders Arbroath.
And Stubbs is ready to offer the 27-year-old the chance to add many more games to that total by extending his ten years with the Capital club, a period in which he has played under eight managers since making his debut in the days of Tony Mowbray.
The head coach said: “It’s a great milestone for anyone to reach 250 games with one club. Lewis has been absolutely fantastic for us this season. He is Mr Reliable, Mr Dependable. He just gets on with his job and does it to a very good standard week in, week out.
“Hopefully we can make it a memorable day for him tomorrow, one he can remember for all the right reasons.”
Stevenson made his debut in a League Cup tie against Ayr United at Somerset Park in September 2005 and Stubbs insisted it was testament to the Kirkcaldy-born player that he had managed to accumulate such a number of games given the number of managers who have been in charge during that time, Mowbray followed by John Collins, Mixu Paatelainen, John Hughes, Colin Calderwood, Pat Fenlon Terry Butcher and now Stubbs, the former Celtic and Everton defender. He said: “I can only talk about Lewis from my time here and he’s been a pleasure to work with since day one. The fact he’s managed to come through the number of changes in manager is testament to his ability and character.
“The fact he’ll be only the 60th player in the club’s history to do so tells you everything. Hopefully he’ll be able to climb up that list a bit further with a lot more games to come.
“We are interested in extending his contract. How that goes I cannot answer, but we are keen to try to keep him and I don’t envisage any problems.”
Stubbs, meanwhile, raised the possibility of former Hamilton goalkeeper Tomas Cerny making his debut tomorrow, the Czech-born player having signed a short-term deal as he became one of four arrivals in January. Asked if Cerny might replace Mark Oxley for the visit of the Red Lichties, Stubbs said: “I have not decided on the team yet. The team I put out will be a team I feel can get us through. The squad is strong and it does give me that option. I want to win this trophy so the team that will be out will be the strongest I can possibly put out.
“We have a brilliant chance to go through, I am really excited about it. It will be a tough game, Arbroath are top of their league, they will come here and have a right go. They have some players who will be dangerous if we are not focused. It is a great opportunity for us at home to get through the tie and then have the excitement of listening to the draw and see potentially who we could get in the next round.
“But let’s get through this tie first and see what’s what.”