Collins: Shiels has Hibs future

Hibs boss John Collins has moved to assure Dean Shiels he has a future at Easter Road.

The Northern Ireland international was overlooked for this week's derby victory over Hearts, but Collins says: "I'm blessed with a lot of technically gifted players at the top end of the pitch, I have eight or nine of them, Dean included, who are fighting for three places.

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"That's the sort of competition any manager needs, it's great for me as everyone has to be on their toes as they know no-one is guaranteed their place in the team.

"I've had a chat with Dean and he knows and understands the situation. He is still very much in my thoughts.

"Deciding who to leave out, not just from the starting line-up but the 18 who strip for any match, is the hardest part of my job at the moment when everyone is fit. Hopefully it's a problem I am going to have in the long-term and it is one which I am sure every manager would want.

"It's not like the old days when you only had two substitutes and there wasn't as much attention paid to who wasn't involved.

"But it is also part of my job to keep the players motivated, to keep things fresh and we'll see how training goes over the next couple of days and, like everyone else, Dean will be trying to win a place on Saturday.

"And I will probably freshen things up a bit so there's every chance there will be a number of different faces in the team."