Fenlon ready for January attention

  • Last Updated: November 4 2012, 13:50 GMT

Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon expects his players to attract admirers after their fine start to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League season.

Pat Fenlon: Hoping to keep Griffiths at Easter Road

A 2-1 win over St Mirren was sealed by a double from Leigh Griffiths, who is in his second loan spell at Easter Road from Wolves and is sure to soon be courted by a host of clubs.

Fenlon hopes to keep Griffiths, who is not wanted by Wolves, but knows if the 22-year-old moves on, his role is to find another prolific scorer to keep Hibs firing.

"People will look and see where we are at the moment and think we may have one or two decent players and they need to watch us," Fenlon said.

"That's part of management. We've brought these players into the club and if we lose them then we've got to try to find replacements for them. That's my job.

"He (Griffiths) is a special talent at the moment, that's for certain."

Griffiths has now netted 11 SPL goals this season, leading to suggestions of a Scotland call-up on Tuesday, whether Craig Levein is manager or not.

Griffiths joined Wolves on a two-and-a-half year deal from Dundee in January 2011 and is free to talk to interested parties from the turn of the year, when his current loan agreement at Hibs is also due to expire.

Fenlon has spoken of his desire to agree fresh terms with Griffiths, as well as defender Ryan McGivern and midfielder Jorge Claros, who are on loan from Manchester City and Motagua in Honduras, respectively.

Although Griffiths will receive the plaudits, and rightly so, according to Fenlon, it was a team effort which saw Hibs beat the Buddies.

From goalkeeper Ben Williams, who made three fine saves to thwart the visitors, to captain James McPake at centre-back and the creative duo of David Wotherspoon and Paul Cairney on the flanks, Hibs appear transformed from the team which imploded at the William Hill Scottish Cup final in May.

McPake lauded Griffiths, while also spreading the praise.

The Northern Ireland international said: "Winning when you don't play particularly well is good. We'd rather play well and win but when you've got somebody like Leigh Griffiths in your team you're always going to have a chance.

"He gets a lot of help from Eoin Doyle, who has been fantastic. The two of them work well together so he's due a lot of credit for the way Leigh's playing."

McPake believes Griffiths' reputation as a 'bad boy' is mis-placed.

He said: "He was hurting last season when Hibs were doing bad. He's a die-hard Hibs fan.

"A few people have had a quiet word with him and told him to let his goals do the talking; that's what he's doing."

Kenny McLean is another young player deserving of praise and it was the 20-year-old who put Saints in front before Griffiths hit back twice.

Of Griffiths, McLean said: "If you give him that kind of space and those chances he's always going to put them away."

Saints' hopes of mounting a comeback were hit when captain Jim Goodwin was sent off for a second bookable offence and they have now lost four straight in the SPL.

Next weekend sees the visit to Paisley of Aberdeen, a side Saints beat on penalties to advance to the Scottish Communities League Cup semi-finals last Tuesday.

"We'll be more than confident," McLean added.

"We got a good result in the cup to take us to the semi-final.

"We need to pick ourselves up. We need to do better in the league."


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