PAT FENLON today conceded that he faces a huge task in finding a replacement for star striker Leigh Griffiths.
The hitman, who bagged 28 goals for Hibs last season, has returned to Wolves after spending a season and a half on loan at Easter Road. With Hibs having had a bid for the striker rejected last week, Fenlon is currently scouring the market for a new frontman.
In addition to losing Griffiths, Eoin Doyle left the club at the end of his contract to sign for Chesterfield.
Fenlon knows he has a task on his hands and admitted that having to build up to next season without Griffiths was a blow. He said: “We have to respect Wolves’ position.
“Leigh had a tremendous season for us and they want him back. We have to take that decision on the chin and simply concentrate on bringing someone in who is going to be a good replacement for him – which will be difficult as he scored a lot of goals.
“But we have got two good young players of our own in that position (Ross Caldwell and Danny Handling) and hopefully we will be able to bring in one or two more.”
While Griffiths arrived at Easter Road on a loan deal, Fenlon is keen to bring the majority of his targets to the club on permanent deals.
He continued: “We are looking to develop the squad and bring them together as a group; form a bond. Bringing in too many loan players doesn’t really help that. We would be looking, mainly, to bring people in on permanent deals, although I wouldn’t rule it out because you don’t know what or who will become available further down the line.”
“We would like the bulk of the squad to be on contracts and committed to the club – and vice versa.” Hibs, meanwhile, were today waiting to learn their fate in the draw for the Europa League second qualifying round. Fenlon’s side, who are unseeded, could face the likes of Rubin Kazan or Red Star Belgrade. The first leg will be on Thursday, July 18 with the return match seven days later.