THOMAS AGYEPONG insists he is ready to bolster Hibernian’s push for Europe as he vowed to repay the faith shown in him by the Easter Road outfit.
The luckless Ghanaian international has injured an injury nightmare since joining the Hibees on loan from Manchester City last summer, making just six appearances for the capital club – only one of which came from the start.
The 22-year-old missed two months due to an ankle complaint in the first half of the campaign before his comeback bid was derailed by thigh damage.
Agyepong has not featured for the Hibs first-team since November 24, so has yet to line up under new head coach Paul Heckingbottom – nevertheless, he is determined to make his mark in the final five fixtures of the Premiership season.
The waspish winger played 45 minutes as Hibs’ reserve side succumbed to a 3-2 defeat against their Rangers counterparts on Monday and, ‘tired legs’ aside, he emerged unscathed from the outing at the Hummel Training Centre.
Agyepong said: “It has been really frustrating and a hard time for me. As a footballer, all you want to do is to get out onto the pitch and play. There are only five games left until the season is over and I want to play a part in them.
“I need to keep working hard in training to impress the manager and to get into the team.
“There is no first-team game this weekend, so I may play again in the Reserve League to improve my fitness levels and hopefully I will be able to play longer than 45 minutes.
“I want to get back to playing football again and helping out the team. We have a lot of big matches coming up and I want to be involved.”
As he battles back to full fitness, Agyepong reserved special praise for the staff at Manchester City and Hibs for nursing him back to action during a
“I can’t thank the medical team at Hibs and my parent club Manchester City enough,” he told Hibs’ official website. “They have both given me a lot of support to make sure that I was ready to get back out onto the field.
“I have worked hard and I will keep working hard to get back to full fitness and contribute again. I want to do this to try to repay the faith everyone at the club has shown me in my time here.”
Meanwhile, fellow loan stars Ryan Gauld and Darnell Johnson are also on course to play a part in the run-in after featuring in the encounter against the Gers’ second string.
Leicester City kid Johnson, who has been back in full training for more than a week, played the entire 90 minutes and is expected to be in contention for Hibs’ first post-split fixture against Celtic on April 21.
He tweeted: “Happy to get some minutes under my belt after being out injured. #RoadToRecovery.”
Johnson’s only appearance for Hibs since arriving from the Foxes in January actually came against the Hoops as a second-half substitute in February – and resulted in a retrospective two-match ban after being carpeted by the Scottish FA for a wild lunge on Emilio Izaguirre.
Sporting Lisbon playmaker Gauld has been battling a persistent hamstring that has restricted him to just five outings for Hibs, but he played the final 18 minutes on Monday.