BY DARREN JOHNSTONE in La Manga – Capital City Press
Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs has assured Mark Oxley that he will start the season as his number one goalkeeper after signing Tony Reguero on a 12 month-deal.
The former Inverness, Kilmarnock and Ross County shot-stopper put pen to paper yesterday after passing a medical, and has joined up with his new team-mates at their week-long La Manga training camp in his native Spain.
The arrival of the 33-year-old, who had been a free agent after making 16 appearances for the Staggies last term, eases Stubbs’ search for options in goal after he was left with no keeper at the end of the season.
Oxley returned to Hibs last week on a permanent two-year deal after impressing during a year-long loan spell from Hull City.
Stubbs who also released Kleton Pernteou during the close-season, wants Reguero to keep Oxley on his toes.
Stubbs, who has dropped his interest in trialist goalkeeper Sascha Struder, said: “Mark is obviously my recognised number one and, I think, rightly so.
“He will start the season as such, I see no reason why that should change but Tony will give him stern competition and for whatever reason should that situation change – then we have someone that’s able to come in right away.
“Last season we brought in Tomas Cerny but unfortunately because Mark’s level of performance was very good in the main, Tomas wasn’t able to get that opportunity.
“Tony knows the situation but I’m sure he won’t be happy just to be number two.
“I think for every professional football player, whether you have two right backs, two central midfielders or two left backs, you have to make sure you are good enough that when you get that chance, you grab it with both hands and make it difficult for me to make the decision to put you back out of the team.
“Tony knows the Scottish game and we now have two keepers who are going to push each other, but in the right way.”
Reguero said: “This is a great move for me. I’ve really enjoyed the last three years in Scotland and I’m very pleased with my move to Hibernian.
“The club face a big challenge next season and I’m looking forward to being part our bid for promotion.”