BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Hibernian head coach Alan Stubbs has leapt to the defence of Mark Oxley after the goalkeeper’s error handed Rangers a goal on Wednesday night.
The 25-year-old misjudged a delivery from James Tavernier, allowing the ball to kiss the crossbar and fall kindly for Jason Holt to make the score 2-1.
Hibs ultimately went on to claim a 3-2 victory, but Oxley’s performance is likely to ignite debate regarding who should be the Easter Road side’s number one during a fraught run-in.
Stubbs said: “Outfield players can make mistakes and get away with it. When a goalkeeper makes a mistake it can ultimately lead to a goal.
“That was obviously a goal that we could have prohibited, but what we will not do is criticise or get on anyone’s back. That would affect the whole team – we can’t allow that.
“The staff and the players in that dressing room are 100 per cent behind the players.”
Meanwhile, Stubbs reckons Anthony Stokes will have the brass neck to claim his bizarre goal against the Gers was deliberate.
The Ireland international, who is on loan from Celtic for the rest of the season, saw his miscued deep cross loop over Wes Foderingham to give the Hibees a 2-0 lead over the league champions.
Stubbs told HibsTV: “He’ll probably claim he meant it, knowing him! Nothing ever surprises you with Stokesy.
“But I thought his overall performance was good. He was clever, the front two [Stokes and Jason Cummings] got into the right positions when we didn’t have the ball and, as part of the team, they worked as a partnership.”