BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
HIBS captain David Gray has paid tribute to the character of John McGinn as the Scotland star continues to play through the pain barrier for the Easter Road cause.
McGinn, 22, is currently battling a persistent ankle complaint, with calcified bone proving a source of discomfort.
Head coach Neil Lennon has confirmed that the injury, which has potential knock-on effects for his right knee, will ultimately require surgery and around six weeks on the sidelines.
In the meantime, he turned in another superb display for the Hibees as they romped to a 4-0 win over Queen of the South on Saturday.
Gray lauded: “That is just what John McGinn is like. He would run through a brick wall for you.
“He has been playing with this injury for a while now and it has been niggling him a bit.
“However, he managed to put in another fantastic performance at the weekend.
“He was exceptional against Queen of the South and he has been like that all season for us – and for him to battle through is just the type of character he is.”
It was from a low McGinn delivery that Gray flicked home the third goal against Queens – his first since the one which ended Hibs’ 114-year wait for Scottish Cup glory in May.
He continued: “It was a decent wee finish from myself! If John is being honest, I’m not sure he meant to put it quite so low, but we always work on getting across the area at the front post.I was delighted to get into that area, after working on it, and get the goal.”
And he is adamant the Hibees will head into their mouth-watering trip to Tannadice in nine days.
He added: “It was four goals and could have been more – and it’s been coming for a number of weeks. We have been playing well but just not taking our chances, the quality in the final third has just let us down at times.
“That definitely gives us confidence going into the next game.”