Stubbs play down Hibs’ goalkeeping crisis

By Craig Turnbull

Alan Stubbs attempted to play down Hibernian’s goalkeeping crisis before their Scottish Cup semi-final clash with Dundee United.

Mark Oxley is suspended for the encounter after picking up his second yellow card of the competition for time-wasting against Inverness CT in the last round.

It leaves Stubbs with the option of Otsu Virtanen, who has played just two minutes of first-team football since joining in January; or Conrad Logan, who joined in March, but hasn’t played since featuring for Rochdale in a 2-2 draw with Notts County in December 2014.

Stubbs admitted in an “ideal world” it would be good to have given them game time before now but isn’t worried by the situation.

“I am not concerned,” he said. “We have known about it for a number of weeks so it is not as if something has happened a couple of days before the game and you are running around and it really throws you.

“We have two able goalkeepers and whoever we go with on Saturday will come in and do themselves justice, no matter what.”

Hibs go into this game on the back of a 2-2 draw with 10-man Falkirk and have only two wins from their last 11 games but Stubbs was defiant in his backing of his players.

“We have some good performances but not necessarily good results and we have had a couple of performances that have not been us,” he said.

“We have been punished for silly little mistakes and we have to stop that from happening.

“If you look at the bigger picture we have done a lot of things right.

“But I will be behind the players no matter what. I will not doubt them.

“I didn’t doubt them in August to February, so why should I doubt them now because form is temporary, quality is permanent and when you have quality it is just a matter of time before that comes back to the fore again.”

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