Hibs boss Collins shrugs off high-profile departures

Hibs boss John Collins insists he's unconcerned after losing several of his key players this summer.

"We've lost talent, but we've brought in talent as well," he said. "We lost Kevin Thomson and we brought in Lewis Stevenson. I'll leave it to others to decide who's the better player there.

"We've just lost Steven Whittaker and we've brought in Kevin McCann. I'll let other people judge who will be the better player over time - maybe time will tell. Scott Brown left for £4.5million and we couldn't refuse that. He's been the hardest player to replace.

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"Apart from that some players [who left] were out of contract, others we let go. A lot of players have moved on who I decided needed to move on.

"We've bought new players, and time will tell if the new players are going to do it. So far the signs are good."

Although he said just a few weeks ago he did not want Whittaker to leave, Collins explained that when the right-back approached him to talk about Rangers' interest he felt he could not stand in his way. "The player came and asked me - he said he'd like to move on.

"Rangers have made him an offer that has set him and his family up for the rest of their lives. Good luck to him. He's worked hard for it.

"I'm realistic. When a player on a decent wage at Hibs is offered nearly ten times his salary, there's only one place he wants to go and one salary he wants to have.

"We've said to certain players who have signed four- or five-year contracts, if the right offer comes in we won't stand in their way.

"The £2 million up front is a good deal for us, but it's only a good deal if we've got a replacement. The fact we've got Kevin McCann clinched it, and we've got Thierry Gatheussi as back-up too. Put all that together and it makes no sense to keep an unhappy player. We've got £2 million, and we've got adequate replacements.

"We've got the debt near enough wiped out. We've got the training ground built and paid for. I'm sure there's a lot of jealous football clubs out there."

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