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Fenlon may give Griffiths rest
Published : 14 May 2013 17:14:00Rss feed
Pat Fenlon admits he is wrestling with the idea of resting Hibernian striker Leigh Griffiths ahead of the Scottish Cup final against Celtic. The 22-year-old striker, who is on loan from Wolves, scored his 28th goal of the season in the 2-1 win over city rivals Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday to better Stevie Cowan's Easter Road record from 1986. He now wants to become the first player at Hibs to reach the 30-mark since Alan Gordon and Jim O'Rourke in the 1972/73 season. Griffiths, who picked up his Scottish Premier League Player of the Year award at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow on Monday night to add to his PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year accolade, has three games left. Hibs play Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in a rearranged game on Wednesday night before taking on Dundee in the last Scottish Premier league fixture of the season ahead of the visit to Hampden. Asked if there was a part of him which wants to leave Griffiths out before the final, which the Leith club are looking to win for the first time in 111 years, the Hibs boss said: "It is a difficult scenario at the moment, he just wants to play and he is bubbly this morning again after winning his award last night. "We have to manage him and we have to pick teams for the two games, to make sure we get the best out of the players. "But it is in your head sometimes that maybe it might be worth leaving him out to give him some recovery time but we will wait and see, I haven't made my mind up on the team for tomorrow. "But Leigh has a target and obviously the more games he plays the better chance he will have of getting it." While contemplating taking Griffiths out of the firing line with a view to the final, Fenlon admits he already has Hampden injury worries. Defenders Ryan McGivern (knee), Tim Clancy (abductor) and James McPake (glutes) all missed the derby against Hearts with the latter two definitely out of the Killie game. The former Shelbourne boss said: "Ryan did a little bit this morning and we are hopeful that he will be involved in the squad. "Tim and James won't be involved, we will need to see how they are towards the weekend but they definitely wont play tomorrow. "Tim has a bit of a problem in his abductor muscle. There is no tear, it is just a bit of tenderness and inflammation so we are giving him a break to see if it eases off. "If he comes back into training and it inflames again then obviously we have to look at something different. "James is stiff in his glutes, and we will see if he we can get him going again with a view to Saturday and view to the final." Asked if there was a danger both could be out of the showpiece finale, the Irishman replied: "I think there is always a danger once a player is injured so we have to be careful. "We have another game on Saturday to try to get these players playing if they are injury free. "But we have to be careful that we can't be putting players into a final who may be carrying knocks as well, so we have to manage that over the next 10 days are so." The first game between Hibernian and Kilmarnock at Rugby Park was abandoned as a mark of respect after 48-year-old Killie fan Jim Haswell was taken fatally ill during the game. As way of tribute, there will be a minute's applause prior to kick-off. Fenlon admits Wednesday's match will be played under "difficult circumstances" He said: "The thoughts are with the family of the man who passed away. "As we said at the time there is a lot more important things than football and that has been proven."
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