BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Sam Stanton has revealed he is willing to leave Hibs in search of first-team football – but is adamant his long-term future lies at Easter Road.
The 21-year-old made just eight starts under Alan Stubbs last season and the Hibees head coach has made it clear that his opportunities are likely to be limited against this term.
The Edinburgh outfit are ready to let Stanton depart the club on loan and the player is amenable to the prospect, with Dundee among the clubs to have been credited with an interest in the diminutive playmaker.
He said: “With the age I am now, I just need to be playing every week. I can’t sit on the bench watching other people play games anymore. The most important thing for me is to play games, wherever that may be.
“The manager has told me he doesn’t think I’ll get as much game time as I’d like – and I want to play every week. I feel I can do a job in the first-team, regardless of what division it is in and that is my priority.
“I am still involved in the training and went out to La Manga, so there has been no nonsense and the manager has been great with me. It is just clear that I can go out on loan if the right offer comes in.”
However, Stanton signed a four-year contract with Hibs last April and, even if he chooses to pursue regular football elsewhere, he remains determined to carve out a successful career in Leith.
He continued: “It would need to be a club that is right for me, where I would play and develop. It would be with a view to coming back to Hibs. I have a contract for another three years and this is where I want to play.
“People were talking as if I was going to leave permanently, but that has never been the case and the manager has never said that to me. It would purely be a chance to go and play.”
Stanton turned in an impressive display in Hibs’ 3-0 win over Berwick Rangers on Tuesday evening after replacing the injured Danny Handling, and was unlucky not to get his name on the score-sheet.
He continued: “I think I did well when I got on and took my chance to show what I can do. It was nice to get playing again.
“I’ll always play hard and give my all when I get my opportunity for Hibs and try to impress the manager, or whoever might be interesting in signing me.
“I’m very open minded at the moment. I would be happy to go out on loan or I would be happy to stay at Hibs – as long as I am playing football.”