BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Hibernian have been dealt a blow with the news that striker Dominique Malonga will miss Tuesday’s rearranged meeting with Livingston because of international duty.
The France-born marksman has been recalled by Congo as his national side bid to take a step closer to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Red Devils face Ethiopia in a double-header, starting with today’s meeting in Addis Ababa, with the return encounter at home in Brazzaville on Tuesday.
That return leg clashes with Hibs’ rescheduled fixture with Livingston, which was postponed from today because of international commitments.
However, head coach Alan Stubbs, who has had the likes of Farid El Alagui, Islam Feruz and Martin Boyle on the bench in recent weeks, is convinced his team will be able to cope without the 26-year-old.
He said: “It’s unfortunate that he won’t be available but we have options to cover.
“There is a lot of competition for places in the squad at the moment and I’m sure whoever takes the starting spot will make the most of the opportunity.”
Malonga has netted only three times in 16 appearances for Hibs this season but, whilst Jason Cummings and James Keatings have grabbed the headlines, Stubbs has acknowledged the Parisian’s importance to the Championship challengers.
He added: “It’s great for Dom that he’s been called up, and a reflection on his performances so far this season.
“His performances over the last two months have been superb and he deserves a lot of credit. He got a lift from being involved in the international set-up last season and I’m sure he’ll benefit from the experience again this time.”