Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom confirms move for ex-Manchester United & West Ham defender Jonathan Spector after Orlando City exit


HIBS MANAGER Paul Heckingbottom has confirmed he is on the verge of signing former Manchester United defender Jonathan Spector.

The ex-West Ham United and Birmingham City player was at McDiarmid Park on Wednesday night to take in Hibs’ battling 2-1 victory over St Johnstone.

The United States internationalist is a free agent after being released by Orlando City in the MLS and has been training with the Easter Road outfit.

(Pic: Egghead06)

With Ryan Porteous out injured, Heckingbottom feels his squad is light in defence and he is poised to land the 32-year-old on a deal for the remainder of the season.

Speaking after Wednesday night’s game, he said: “Jonathan is here tonight.

“He is someone who is unattached and could prove useful for us.

“So, he’s having a look at us and we are going to have a look at him, because we’re light in that position.

“Yes, possibly [with a view to a contract to the end of the season]. It would be foolish not to look at those things when we’re light.

“The worst-case scenario is we do all the hard work now and something like that costs us.

“So we want to make sure we cover all bases and he’s someone with good pedigree and is a good lad.

“So, it could be a possibility.”

Heckingbottom hailed his side’s character after they fought back from the loss of an early Chris Kane goal to beat Saints, despite the loss of Vykintas Slivka to a second-half red card.

And the Easter Road boss has admitted he and assistant Robbie Stockdale were actually discussing substituting the Lithuanian when he picked up his second booking.

He added: “It was literally about a second before, as he’s chasing back, we were talking about bringing him off.

“It’s just one of those things, isn’t it?

“He had just made a foul not far from us, and we thought ‘that’s it’. But we didn’t get enough time so, yes, it was a blow.”

Meanwhile, Heckingbottom has praised January signing Stephane Omeonga for his impact at McDiarmid Park after the on-loan Genoa midfielder’s superb through ball for Marc McNulty’s late winner.

Heckingbottom said: “Steph has done well. He showed up well in training when we first came in and he’s done well in each of the games when he’s come on.

“He’s been unlucky that the rest of the team has done ever so well, which has meant he’s had to play a bit-part.

“But he certainly brings something different with his energy and he’s got the pace, and is obviously a technically good footballer as well.

“He’s another valuable member of our squad, certainly.”