Hibernian: Pat Fenlon hopes Shefki Kuqi can boost young attack

Hibernian forward Shefki Kuqi

Pat Fenlon hopes Shefki Kuqi will add a new dimension to the Hibernian attack as they try to extend their resurgence.

Kuqi, 35, made his debut as a substitute in Hibs' 2-1 win at St Mirren Park, with Leigh Griffiths grabbing both goals for the visitors.

"Ross Caldwell, Danny Handling, Eoin Doyle and Leigh Griffiths are all young players," Fenlon told BBC Scotland.

"What he [Kuqi] brings is experience. He gives us a target, something we don't have with the other four."

The Easter Road side's first win of the season followed a 1-1 draw with Edinburgh rivals Hearts last weekend, when Griffiths was also on target.

Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon
Fenlon's side claimed all three points in Paisley

Hibs lost Garry O'Connor in the summer but Fenlon does not regard Finnish forward Kuqi as a like-for-like replacement.

"He's a different type of player to Garry, he's more mobile," said Fenlon.

"His work-rate is very, very good. He needs to get fit, he needs training."

Though Griffiths made the headlines with his Paisley double, Doyle had a hand in the second goal and worked tirelessly as he sought to stake his own claim in Fenlon's plans.

"That does tend to happen when you bring in a striker, a midfielder or a defender; people tend to notice and step up and say, 'I want to play'," said Fenlon. "You've got to perform every week.

"It's just the goals he's lacking at the minute but with the rest of his game, he's been fantastic for us."

Griffiths' performance was almost capped with a hat-trick-clinching strike when his free-kick clipped the top of the crossbar on its way over.

"He wasn't far away," Fenlon said. "The boys have been practising them this week. He is a good striker of the ball.

"He's massively important for us, his finishing is first class. He's an excellent player."

Hibs' season got off to a poor start with a 3-0 defeat at Dundee United but four points from their last two games has eased the anxiety among the Easter Road faithful.

"We've brought in eight players that've improved us," added Fenlon.

"We worked with what we had last year and we had to change it in January to get a few in to make sure we stayed up.

"Then it was important that we got a bit of stability into the club and we've brought in some experience as well as decent players."

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