Hibernian V Motherwell at Easter Road Stadium : Match Preview

03 August 2013 03:31
Hibernian V Motherwell - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Collins is `big addition' - Fenlon

Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon feels new striker James Collins is the old-fashioned centre-forward his team have been missing.

Collins is set for his debut against Motherwell at Easter Road after joining the Scottish Premiership side from Swindon this week.

The 22-year-old netted 18 times for the League One side last season but Fenlon believes the 6ft 2in striker will provide more than just goals to the team.

Fenlon, whose other new forward addition Rowan Vine is suspended, said: "It was important we got another striker in. It was a position we needed to strengthen and we've done that with a real quality player.

"We watched him a few times at Shrewsbury and then he got himself a real good move from Swindon and did really well. Fortunately we managed to take him from there and bring him to the club.

"He will be a big addition. Obviously he has a very good goalscoring record but he is a real centre-forward and that's something we have missed."

Hibs had something more than a centre-forward last season in the shape of Leigh Griffiths, who terrorised defences with his directness and his ability to score from outside the box.

But Fenlon does not expect Republic of Ireland Under-21 international Collins to be overawed by the task of replacing Griffiths, who returned to parent club Wolves after scoring 28 goals during his second loan spell.

"It can be a challenge to people," Fenlon said.

"It depends on the way you look at it as a player. James is the type of player that will embrace that.

"He is a completely different type of player to Leigh as well."

Former Kilmarnock defender Michael Nelson is set to make his Hibernian debut after being signed to fill a defensive void ahead of the Scottish Premiership opener.

Nelson signed from Bradford on Thursday night as James McPake (back), Tim Clancy (groin), Ryan McGivern (knee) and Jordon Forster (suspended) are all missing while young defender Bradley Donaldson is also out with a knock.

Hibs are also without suspended forward Rowan Vine and Paul Cairney (ankle) but midfielder Owain Tudur Jones has recovered from the knock that kept him out of the 7-0 defeat by Malmo.

Motherwell have no fresh injuries.

Stuart McCall's squad came through their Europa League defeat by Russian side Kuban Krasnodar unscathed. Teenage defender Euan Murray is out with a hamstring injury.

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall remains on the hunt for a replacement for pacey winger Chris Humphrey - but he is convinced his new-look team can still create chances.

The Lanarkshire side lost strike pair Henrik Ojamaa and Michael Higdon in the summer along with Humphrey, whose crosses were the ideal fodder for John Sutton during the returning forward's first spell working under McCall at Fir Park.

McCall has brought in the likes of Iain Vigurs and Paul Lawson, whose passing ability he feels can help them unlock defences, but he would still like a wide man on the right to complement James McFadden's creative spark.

McCall said: "We're on the lookout for an out and-out right-sider, not someone who is left-footed because I want someone who can get to the dead-ball line and put crosses in.

"We have strikers who can score from crosses, Henri (Anier), Bob McHugh, big Sutty and Faddy. We need a bit of pace and width in certain games.

"What we have gained in certain areas, probably a little bit stronger defensively and a bit more experience, we have certainly lost out on the pace with Ojamaa, Chris Humphrey and Lawsy (Nicky Law) to an extent driving from the middle of the park.

"I still think we have a lot of good footballers in there, who can pass the ball and open teams up, and as we get a bit more sharper, I'm sure we will start creating more opportunities."

Source: PA

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