Hibs are looking to add players to their defence – but that will be determined by what happens with left-back Josh Doig, according to head coach Jack Ross.
Doig missed Sunday’s Scottish Premiership opener against Motherwell as English clubs step up their interest in the teenager. If he does leave Hibs – which Ross thinks is ‘likely’ – it will provide the Easter Road club with a cash boost. Ross wants reinforcements at the back and is keen to bring Chris Mueller to Hibs six months early.
The American international has signed a pre-contract but his Orlando City deal does not end until later this year, currently set to join Hibs in 2021. Ross says if that Mueller doesn’t arrive this summer, things in attack may be reviewed.
He explained: “We continue to try and bring Chris Mueller in earlier than planned. There has been no progress on that yet. If that doesn’t happen, we might reassess where we are in the attacking areas. Defensively we are working on players who might help us.
“Josh Doig’s situation will determine what we do in that area of the pitch but there is nothing imminent at present. Josh is ok. He feels a bit better with a little bit of clarity. He hasn’t expressed a desire to leave the club. There’s no deadlines on it but we have to look after ourselves and Josh. It won’t continue indefinitely.”
Doig will miss the first leg of Hibs’ Europa Conference League third round qualifier against Croatian outfit HNK Rijeka this evening. Ross says the prospect of facing new teams in Europe – having beaten Andorran minnows Santa Coloma in the last round – is ‘exciting.’
He said: “It’s been a different schedule for us. Going from the second leg of the Santa Coloma game straight into the Motherwell game was new. I think it’s quite exciting and different. You are facing opponents you know far less about. The variety of opponent is exciting for the players.
“Rijeka have made good strides in making themselves one of the stronger forces in Croatia. They sit top of the league just now, albeit after three games. They put a lot of balls into the box but their games have been quite expansive and open. I think that suits us.”
Midfielder Melker Hallberg has dislocated his knee and will miss a period of time with the injury. Ross added: “It’s a nasty injury to get. It popped back in quickly which helped. Everything at the moment is pointing towards Melker not having surgery which is a positive for him and us. Hopefully without surgery he will be back sooner rather than later.”
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