By DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs insists there is no better way to kick-off the season than a clash with Rangers, but admits he has been left disappointed by the Ibrox club’s public pursuit of Scott Allan.
The two Championship rivals were drawn together in yesterday’s Petrofac Training Cup first round draw for the second season running.
The Easter Road side will be out to exact revenge, after being beaten 2-1 last time, and set down a marker for the campaign in a game schedule for July 25.
Stubbs will be hopeful of having the talented Allan at his disposal despite interest in the midfielder from both Rangers and Celtic.
Rangers vice-chairman Paul Murray confirmed last week that the 23-year-old is on their list of targets, saying: “Scott Allan is an example of a player I personally think is a very good player. His profile is right as a young guy with a lot of potential.”
But those comments have not gone down well with Stubbs, who yesterday tied goalkeeper Mark Oxley down on a two-year contract following a successful loan spell from Hull City.
Stubbs said: “I don’t think it is the right thing to do. I wouldn’t do it.
“Everyone is entitled to do and say what they want. It is not what I would do.”
Speaking about the cup tie, Stubbs said: “I’ll be looking forward to it and we’ll prepare for it diligently – what better way is there to start off both the season and the competition?
“I’m pleasantly surprised with the draw, but also really excited and pleased by the news.
“Obviously at first glance it has the look of the match at the beginning of last season, but I believe we will be far better prepared going into this one and I’m a lot more relaxed about it.
“This is a great tie for the competition and we wanted competitive games in the build-up to the league season – this cup tie certainly fits the bill.”