Hibernian V Dundee at Easter Road Stadium : Match Preview

17 May 2013 07:01
Hibernian V Dundee - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Griffiths extension a blow for Hibs

Any hopes Hibernian had of securing Leigh Griffiths for free this summer have been extinguished after Wolves confirmed they were taking up the option of extending his contract.

The 22-year-old has scored 28 goals this season on his second loan spell with Hibs and will collect the Scottish Football Writers' Association player of the year award on Sunday after winning the Clydesdale Bank Premier League award earlier this week.

Wolves, who have released Scotland defender Christophe Berra following their relegation to npower League One, signed Griffiths from Dundee in January 2011 on a two-and-a-half-year deal with the option for a further 12 months.

Griffiths, who made his Scotland debut in a friendly win over Luxembourg in November, has only made one substitute appearance for Wolves, who are without a manager after Dean Saunders left earlier this month.

Griffiths could come back into the team for Hibernian's final Premier League game of the season at home to Dundee on Saturday after being rested during the midweek win over Kilmarnock.

Manager Pat Fenlon already knows the vast majority of the side he will charge with lifting the William Hill Scottish Cup for the first time in 111 years against Celtic.

However, with over a week to go until the Hampden showpiece and the likes of Tim Clancy and James McPake doubts through injury, the Irishman has urged his players not to blow their last chance to force their way into his thinking.

On the back of two successive wins, Fenlon wants another impressive performance against Dundee to cap an inconsistent SPL campaign.

"I would suggest I have the balance of my team in my head and most of it ready to go," he said.

"But you are always mindful that people can get injured and things can happen in games, so you need to be open-minded in that regard.

"We have one or two injuries that we need to keep an eye on and, of course, there is always a chance someone can change things.

"You have seen that over the last few weeks with a few of the younger players coming in and performing really well - and we are looking for that to continue.

"We need people to perform and you never know what that could lead to, if you perform to the best of your levels then things can change during the week."

Ross Caldwell, the match-winner in Sunday's Edinburgh derby, Danny Handling, Jordon Forster and the exceptional Alex Harris, just 18, have been among those who have made an impressive charge to be involved against Celtic.

Fenlon said: "I probably thought, a few months ago, that we would try to get the younger boys a game towards the end of the season. Whether they would be ready to play in a couple final - I probably didn't think so.

"But they have come in and been absolutely fantastic. The four that have made the jump at the moment have done really well and Alex particularly, given the amount of games he has played, has been remarkably consistent.

"Jordon has come in and played really well in a difficult position, while Danny and Caldwell have been fantastic in contributing bits and pieces.

"I have no problem throwing any of the young lads in (for the cup final). We threw them into Tynecastle and that is a hard place to play and they performed really really well."

Dundee midfielder Nicky Riley is back from suspension but long-term absentees Stephen O'Donnell (knee) and Jamie McCluskey (Achilles) are still out. Rab Douglas, Don Cowan and Davide Grassi have left the club.

Dundee manager John Brown maintains there is no chance his side will down tools away to Hibernian.

The Dark Blues, who could be handed a top-flight reprieve when the SPL meets on Monday to discuss whether Hearts have fallen foul of rules regarding the apparent insolvency of owners UBIG, lost their battle to stay up two weeks ago.

But Brown insists his side are not about to treat their trip to Easter Road as a meaningless end-of-season encounter.

Brown said: "We want to win this game as we do every game.

"We aren't in holiday mode or anything like that.

"Just because it's the last day of the season doesn't mean it's one we're not focusing on.

"We're going to give it 100% as usual because that's what I'll be demanding and so will the fans.

"It's always nice to finish the season with a win as it means you go off with a positive vibe.

"That's our aim and we'll go there looking for victory over Hibs."

Source: PA