Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom was given a massive boost on Monday as new signing Jonathan Spector turned out for the reserve side.

Ryan Gauld also stepped up his return from injury as the reserves ran out 5-0 winners over Ross County at the Oriam.

Gauld has been missing since February. (photo by Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Spector managed 67 minutes against the Staggies whilst Gauld was given an hour. It was enough for the latter to make an impact, scoring once as the Hibees cruised to victory.

This will please Heckingbottom to no end. The American was brought in to plug holes in the Hibs defence whilst Darnell Johnson and Ryan Porteous remain sidelined.

Gauld on the other hand hasn’t featured since February’s match against Celtic and it is unknown when he will be fit for first team action. One thing is certain though, the Hibs boss needs these two players back sooner rather than later.

 

Will they return for Livingston clash?

Hibs’ next fixture is on Friday night against Livingston. It is a tough place to go, with Livingston boasting a decent home record that few have matched this season. It would be ideal for Heckingbottom if he had both Gauld and Spector at his disposal.

Spector lasted just over an hour at the Oriam. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There is perhaps more pressure on Spector to get up to fitness quickly. The Easter Road side have limited options at the back and the former Manchester United player’s presence would be reassuring for the depleted Hibs defence.

Whilst Gauld will no doubt be wanting a hasty return, his adopted side can deal without him. The likes of Stephane Omeonga and Stephen Mallan have performed excellently in recent weeks, whilst there are reliable deputies like Gael Bigirimana on the bench.

Friday’s game may come a bit too soon for either player to start, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them on the bench. Both players can bring extra quality to Heckingbottom’s side at a time where every point is vital.

The American could be a vital squad player. (Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

A trip to Livingston presents another chance for the Leith side to leapfrog city rivals Hearts. They’ll want to have as many people fit for the clash. Gauld and Spector’s addition to the match day squad could give them that extra edge over their West Lothian opponents.

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