Tony targets new faces for Hibs

HIBS BOSS Tony Mowbray today revealed that he is still hoping to bring in at least two new faces before the start of the season.

The Easter Road club have made just one signing during the close season so far, bringing in defender Rob Jones from Grimsby, but Mowbray admitted he is close to strengthening his side again.

While another defender remains his priority, Mowbray is keen to add quality right through his side and with both Garry O'Connor and Derek Riordan having left the club in the summer is also likely to bring in a new striker.

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Mowbray still has a slice of the cash from O'Connor's 1.6million transfer to Lokomotiv Moscow available to him, and said: "I'm hopeful that at least two more players will be coming into the club before the start of the season.

"We're not only looking at strengthening in defence, it is all over the pitch, we want to bring in someone who can bring more goals to the side and creativity."

However the Evening News understands that trialist Bernabe Ballester Marco, known as Berna, is unlikely to be among the new signings. The Spanish defender, a former Valencia and Real Madrid B team player, has been given a week to impress the Hibs manager but is unlikely to be offered a contract when he ends his spell with the club tomorrow.

However Mowbray said: "He is just one of a number of players that we are looking at right now. He has come in with a bit of a pedigree, having played for Valencia and Real Madrid's B teams.

"The player's happy to be here at the moment and we are comfortable with the player being here. If anything happens then great, but if not, fine."

Meanwhile, Moroccan frontman Abdesallam Benjelloun won't be travelling to Denmark for this weekend's InterToto Cup match with Odense because of visa requirements. The striker is not an EU citizen and therefore would need a visa to enter the country and, as he has been nursing a slight hamstring strain, the club have decided to leave him at home.

Mowbray added: "Benji won't be travelling with us, mainly because of his visa, but also because he returned from games with his national side with a bit of a hamstring strain.

"Before Saturday's game in Latvia he had only trained two or three days so he may not have been involved anyway and we knew that he would have to travel down to London to get the visa himself.

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"Because of that we weren't too concerned about the visa side of things and decided that it was probably better to leave him here to work on his fitness.

"Obviously, with Steven Fletcher joining up with the Scotland squad after this weekend's game though, we will need Benji back for the second leg at Easter Road."