Shaun Maloney hit with another Celtic Park blow as Paul McGinn the latest to miss out

By David Walton

January 13, 2022

Hibernian boss Shaun Maloney has been rocked today with the news that Paul McGinn will miss his team’s trip to Celtic Park on Monday night.

McGinn has been hit with a 2-match suspension effective immediately, the club has confirmed on its official website. That will therefore rule him out of Monday’s game and Cove Rangers in the Scottish Cup next weekend.

The full-back has been suspended for comments made after the League Cup final defeat to Celtic at Hampden. McGinn accused referee John Beaton of giving decisions to the Hoops that he wouldn’t have given up the other end [Scottish Sun].

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It’s yet another blow for new Hibs boss Maloney after Ryan Porteous was also hit with a suspension last month due to a collision with Aberdeen centre-forward Christian Ramirez in a league clash at Easter Road.

McGinn’s absence could give Hibs a real headache for he contest on Monday night. It could lead to him pulling Chris Cadden back or potentially pitching in veteran Lewis Stevenson in his unfavoured side.

Maloney has won 2 games out of 2 in charge of his new club ahead of Monday’s acid test.

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Paul McGinn absence a headache Maloney could do without

It’s worth noting that Hibernian have been particularly busy over the winter break. Owner Ron Gordon is clearly determined to back Maloney after recruiting 4 players over the last 13 days alone.

Centre-back Rocky Bushiri comes into contention for them along with Harry Clarke and Elias Melkersen. Ewan Henderson will be ineligible due to only being on loan with the Easter Road club for now. They also have Chris Mueller and Dylan Tait joining after moves that were agreed in the summer.

So Hibs will be bolstered with personnel regardless. There may be an integration period needed for Maloney in order to get many of them up to speed. But the truth is they have options to throw into the deep end if they deem necessary.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

It’s going to be a special night on Monday for sure. Maloney’s Celtic Park return will see him likely receive an extremely warm welcome, even if the plan is to hand him his first loss in his new job. But the signs are his side won’t go down easily.

Celtic got a taster of how competitive Hibs can still be in the League Cup final. Maloney looks to have taken them up a gear, and there remains the unknown factor of his new arrivals. But even so, they don’t appear to have a direct replacement for McGinn in the door. That will still pose him a problem.

Fingers crossed it’s one Celtic can expose on Monday.

In other news, The Celtic supporters can see right through Stewart Robertson’s woeful ticket excuse