BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Alan Stubbs has lavished praise on patient Marvin Bartley after the powerful midfielder returned to the Hibernian side in style.
The 29-year-old has been forced to bide his time since joining the Easter Road outfit in the summer, with Stubbs enjoying an embarrassment of riches in midfield including Fraser Fyvie, John McGinn, Liam Henderson and Dylan McGeouch.
Former Burnley and Leyton Orient man Bartley has made just 10 starts for Hibs, who are enjoying a sensational run of 14 wins from 15 matches and have reeled in Rangers at the summit of the Championship.
However, he was drafted into action against Alloa last Saturday when on-loan Celtic star Henderson was laid low by a virus – and he turned in a dominant performance against the Wasps.
That came as no surprise to Stubbs, who admitted Bartley has been “unfortunate” not to feature more, before emphasising the importance of a deep squad.
“Marv does what he does very well and gives us that assurance in front of the back four,” lauded the Easter Road boss. “He reads the game well, he is a big unit to try and get past and he uses his body extremely well. He is quick and strong and has very efficient use of the ball.
“Marv is reliable and has been out of the team recently. I had to bring him in against Alloa and he can consider himself unfortunate to have been out of the team.
“I can say that about everyone who is not in the team, they all have a part to play over the season.”
“It’s just about trying to get them to understand that. They all want to play and that is great.”