Pat Fenlon has revealed he is ready to follow Celtic counterpart Neil Lennon in handing some of his Hibernian players a well-earned breather to prepare them for next month’s Scottish Cup final.
Fenlon rested full-back Tim Clancy and midfielder Kevin Thomson for Saturday’s 3-3 draw with St Mirren, with Jorge Claros having been benched for the previous outing against Aberdeen.
Clancy, who was sidelined for eight weeks with a groin problem earlier in the season, had played four matches on the trot since returning from two months out with a hamstring injury, whilst Thomson had also made four consecutive appearances in his bid to play his way back to regular football at Easter Road. With Paul Hanlon another to have had a spell out through injury in recent times, Fenlon admits he will have to be careful in ensuring some players head to Hampden on 26 May in tip-top condition.
He said: “There’s a few who have played a lot of games now in a short space of time after coming back from injury. So, we’ve got to be aware of that and make sure that they are ready to play. We’ve got some good players not playing at the moment as well, so if we need to freshen it up we can do that.”
Midfield would seem an obvious area where Fenlon can mix and match.
Tom Taiwo has played beside Thomson and Claros in the last two matches, while Gary Deegan and Scott Robertson have returned from minor injuries and Lewis Stevenson can also fill in.
Fenlon added on Hibernian TV: “Jorge and Kevin are two very, very good footballers. Tom Taiwo has come back into the team and done really well and we’ve got Gary Deegan and Scott Robertson. But, also, players want to play regularly. They feel that they need to kick on and play as many games as possible.
“We’ve got to make sure when we go into games we’ve got a vibrancy about us.”