Hibs boss Alan Stubbs pleads patience in Farid El Alagui comeback

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BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport

Alan Stubbs admits Hibs fans may not see the best out of returning striker Farid El Alagui until 2016.

The 30-year-old has endured a torrid time with injuries since arriving at Easter Road last summer, initially suffering a ruptured achilles tendon last August which halted a run of four goals in his first six games and kept him out for six months.

He returned to full fitness in March and underlined his value with a memorable clipped goal in April’s 2-0 victory over fierce city rivals Hearts. However, he underwent an operation to remove a pin which aided his recovery from last season’s injury, resulting in another layoff this term.

(pic courtesy of @ElAlagui)

 

But El Alagui is well and truly on the comeback trail, having been on the bench in the Hibees last two matches, even entering the fray as a substitute against his former club Dundee United last midweek.

Stubbs, however, has cautioned against expecting too much from the ex-Falkirk and Brentford man.

Asked whether it may take until the second half of the season for El Alagui to truly recapture his form, the Hibs boss said: “It’s probably looking like that.

“He is in the squads, so he is obviously fit. He just needs a more sharpness and more strength in his legs to make a really significant contribution.

“Personally, and I’ve spoken to Farid about it, I don’t think he is ready to start a game, but as a real confidence booster, it was great to get him on against Dundee United.

“ It’s great for him because it’s been a long 14 months. It has been a difficult 14 months, as well. I’m trying to drip-feed him in, just to give him a lift and make sure he’s a part of things.”

Meanwhile, fellow striker Henri Anier is nearing his debut for the Easter Road club after making his first appearance in Hibs’ colours.

Anier, a loan arrival from Dundee United on deadline day, has been sidelined by a thigh strain but was fit enough to play 60 minutes in Tuesday night’s ‘Wee Derby’ defeat against Hearts.

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