Hibernian V St Mirren at Easter Road Stadium : Match Preview

17 January 2014 03:01
Hibernian V St Mirren - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Heffernan looks to find form

Hibernian striker Paul Heffernan is desperate for a period of calm following his chaotic start to life at Easter Road.

The Irishman made a surprise late switch from Kilmarnock to Leith at the end of the summer transfer window but his move has so far been anything but smooth.

First the man who signed him, Pat Fenlon, quit as boss after Hibs suffered their second humiliating Edinburgh derby defeat to administration-hit rivals Hearts of the season.

Then he suffered a thigh injury just six minutes into new manager Terry Butcher's first match in charge away to St Mirren, ruling him out of action for almost six weeks.

But the 32-year-old has now started the Edinburgh side's last two games after retuning to action and is looking forward to bedding himself in under Butcher's command.

He said: "The manager has been good with everyone and told us all we will get a chance. He's been true to his word because even after being out for a while, he's put me back in the team.

"He's fair like that. It's been a bit of a hectic time for me over the last few months but hopefully we can all just settle down."

Heffernan struck his first Easter Road goal for the Leith side in a 2-0 win over St Mirren back in September before suffering his injury setback in November's Paisley return.

The Buddies are the opponents again on Saturday but despite his mixed emotions from those two previous encounters, Heffernan is just glad to be back playing.

"Being injured was a really frustrating time for me," he said.

"The new manager came in just before the St Mirren match back in November and picked me to start in Paisley.

"But then just five minutes into the game I felt my thigh go, so that was a real blow.

"I'd only been here a month or so when Pat left and it was a worry because he was the guy who brought me in and I started to wonder what was going to happen.

"I was out for about five or six weeks and even once I was back, I was trying to catch up with the lads who have been flying under the new boss. I didn't enjoy being out. I'm not a great watcher of games.

"But I've started the last two games and I'm feeling good. Now I just need to start scoring goals if I want to keep my place in the team."

Hibs winger Alex Harris is looking to continue his comeback from a broken ankle against St Mirren, with boss Butcher boasting a fully-fit squad.

Winger Gregg Wylde could make his St Mirren debut after completing his free transfer move from Aberdeen.

Goalkeeper Marian Kello will be back after a hip injury ruled him out of last week's 2-0 defeat to St Johnstone, while midfielder John McGinn returns from suspension.

However, on-loan Nice striker Stephane Bahoken (thigh) is a doubt.

St Mirren boss Danny Lennon is not worried by Derek McInnes' claim that new signing Wylde failed to show enough desire to claim a first-team slot at Aberdeen.

The former Rangers winger was freed by the Dons on Wednesday just hours before agreeing a move to Paisley.

McInnes released the 22-year-old after admitting he was disappointed Wylde had not shown "a wee bit more determination to fight his way into the team".

The Scotland Under-21 international quit Ibrox back in March 2012 just as Rangers' financial implosion ignited before moving to Bolton.

However, he failed to make a single appearance for the Trotters and after a six-game loan stint at Bury, he moved north to Aberdeen, where he spent the majority of his time on the bench.

Yet Lennon believes Saints can help Wylde shine again.

He said: "Derek's comments don't worry me. I appreciate Derek's honesty and I'm sure Gregg will do so too.

"Gregg will be frustrated by the lack of playing time he had up there but he has made it clear where he wants to go. Now he has to go out and prove he still has the talents that made him his mark at Rangers.

"He was a whirlwind, the new kid on the block, but if you look at his stats, he has only made about 50-odd appearances in the last five years. So he now has to build up his CV again.

"He went down to England at such a young age and you see it so often with young Scottish talent going down there, it can harm you if you are not ready for it.

"But Gregg hasn't come here for the money, that's for sure. He's here to play football and we will certainly give him a platform to show the ability that he has got."

Source: PA

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