Captain James McPake hopes Hibernian can agree a permanent deal with Leigh Griffiths after the striker netted twice in the 2-1 win over St Mirren which sent Pat Fenlon's men to the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
On his second loan spell at Easter Road from Wolves, Griffiths has now netted 11 SPL goals this season to equal his tally last term and lead to suggestions of a Scotland call-up. Griffiths joined Wolves from Dundee in January 2011 and is free to talk to interested parties from the turn of the year, when his current loan agreement at Hibs is also due to expire.
Wolves manager Stale Solbakken has already stated he does not want Griffiths back, but McPake realises the striker's hot streak could make it difficult for Hibs to seal a deal. McPake said: "Wolves must have some top strikers if he's not good enough to have a chance. Their loss is definitely going to somebody else's gain, I just hope it's ours."
The Hibs skipper added: "If he's going to score those goals it could end up being hard for the club, but I'm sure the club and the chairman (Rod Petrie) will be trying.
"Leigh loves playing for this football club. Is there anybody else in Scotland he'd rather play for? I'm not too sure. If somebody in England takes a gamble on him that's entirely up to Leigh, but Hibs is where his heart is."
Manager Pat Fenlon said: "He (Griffiths) is somebody we want to keep at the club. He wants to stay, which is great. We've got to make sure we do our work and get that done. His scoring ratio to chances is fantastic. He's like that in training as well - he very rarely misses the target."
St Mirren's challenge at Easter Road effectively ended when Jim Goodwin was sent-off following an altercation with David Wotherspoon. Referee Alan Muir was informed of the incident by David Watt, his assistant, and Goodwin's protestations were in vain.
St Mirren boss Danny Lennon said: "I didn't see it and I don't think the referee saw it. It was the AR (assistant referee) that saw some kind of infringement."
Four successive losses and 11 goals conceded have seen Saints fall from fourth to 11th in a month, with only Dundee below them.
Lennon, who praised Griffiths, added: "We want results and we want quality and we certainly believe results without quality is very boring. But quality without results is meaningless and we need to strike that balance."
- Sports & Recreation
- Leigh Griffiths
- St Mirren
- Pat Fenlon