BY IAIN COLLIN – CAPITAL CITY PRESS
Alan Stubbs believes Hibernian’s flurry of early transfer activity sends out a warning to Rangers that they will not get it all their own way in the Championship next season.
The Ibrox club currently appear to be in limbo after failing to win promotion back to the Premiership, with a decision still to be made on a new manager and contracts for a team’s worth of players having expired.
The Govan outfit have still been made odds-on favourites to win the second-tier next term, however, and Stubbs fully expects the fallen Old Firm giants to make improvements ahead of the new campaign.
But, having re-signed Fraser Fyvie and Lewis Stevenson on two-year deals and recruited Hearts striker James Keatings and Queen of the South winger Danny Carmichael, as well as reiterated their intent to hang on to Scott Allan, Stubbs is adamant Hibs have automatic promotion firmly in their sights after losing out to Rangers in last month’s play-offs.
He said: “We want to try and get out of this division as soon as possible. We are not saying anything untoward there.
“Obviously with Rangers being in this division, and St Mirren, Falkirk, Queen of the South, it’s not going to be easy.
“But we want to bring in players, as well as the ones we want to keep here, to really have a push for promotion and try to do it automatically.
“It will be difficult. I’m sure Rangers will strengthen, St Mirren will look to be a threat, Falkirk and Queens and Raith and all the other teams will strengthen as well.
“So, it’s got the makings of another fiercely competitive division again.”