Top line summary

  • Maolida unlikely to be available for Forfar trip but should get green light to face Rangers
  • Ex-QPR midfielder and free agent Luke Amos is training with Hibs
  • Hibs won't underestimate Forfar; Montgomery expects a 'tough one' at Station Park
  • Recruitment search ongoing; possibility of further trialists coming in

Tell us about the process of signing Myziane Maolida...

“Myziane is a player with undoubted potential and when his name arose it seemed like he was way out of our means in terms of our budget. He is a quality player on the salary of a top Bundesliga outfit when he signed before they were relegated.

READ MORE - Myziane Maolida scout report: What former Lyon prodigy can bring to Hibs

“For us to be able to speak to him was the turning point. Being able to talk to him and his representative and be able to explain what we wanted from him and the biggest thing was him coming and enjoying his football in a good, physical league.

“One minute it seemed like it wouldn’t be possible but all credit to Hertha Berlin for helping facilitate the loan because for us he is a big signing.

How excited are you about seeing him in action for Hibs?

“It's been exciting just watching him in training the last few days; although he’s not been playing first-team football regularly, he has been playing B-team football and international football and scoring goals. He is desperate to come in and get his career back on track.

READ MORE - Hibs complete loan signing of Myziane Maolida

“He’s an exciting player and we’ve been really light across the front four. We’ve not really had many options off the bench so he comes in and I think he’ll have a real impact. He’s a top-quality player.”

His manager at Hertha seemed to describe him as lazy. What did Myziane say to you?

“When we sign a player it’s important we do our due diligence. The feedback was that he’s massively talented but for whatever reason it maybe all came a bit too easy for him.

“He was the first to say on the call that he’s probably not worked as hard as he should have done but that’s not been the case the last season, he’s been working really hard. He’s just not had any opportunities.

“I think his maturity to admit that was a big thing. I thought, 'this is a kid who has had the world at his feet and he’s still only 24'. 

“For him to want to come and play for Hibs shows massive character because he had offers from other clubs. We had an honest conversation and the biggest thing was I told him I wanted him to come here and enjoy his football.

“He bought in straight away. Things happen really quickly and we’re hoping to have him registered ready to be involved against Rangers on Wednesday.”

What is his strongest position?

“He’s most dangerous as a central striker but also on the left cutting in. He’s a very good athlete and his quality on the ball is undoubted.

“It’s important we managed him properly. Although he’s been playing it’s not been regularly at high-intensity first-team football.

“It’s my job to manage him. He’s 24 and knows his own body now. I think he’s going to have a big impact.”

You've got a bit of a track record of taking rough diamonds and polishing them up...

"I came from a club in Australia with a really small budget. We had to be creative. There’s no way Central Coast Mariners could have signed Jason Cummings unless he’s had issues or his career had gone off track.

“And Hibs are not a club that can pay big transfer fees. But this is a great club with a big fanbase and a platform for any player to perform and use it to go on to bigger things. 

“I enjoy working with players who have a point to prove. It’s a powerful thing. There’s no way we get a player like Myziane if he’s perfect. He’d be playing at a Champions League club.

“Right now he has an opportunity to be exposed in a good league and get his career back on track.”

How important is it to get the second half of the season off to a good start against Forfar?

“We’ve had the break, now we’ve got a cup game and we’ll give them full respect - they deserve to be in the fourth round and we have to go there, be professional and put in a professional performance, and also compete.

READ MORE - Do Rudi Molotnikov's numbers suggest he is ready to start for Hibs?

“It’s a big game and we’re going to have a good following behind us but Forfar will be prepared. A cup game is a cup game but we have to concentrate on ourselves as well as giving them full respect.

“It’s an away game and we’ll be prepared, and that’s what we’ve been working on the last few weeks.”

How much research have you managed to do on Forfar?

“We’ve done the research and the analysis and on any day, if we’re not prepared, then they could be dangerous.

“We know how they’re going to play but we have to compete and go there and play the way that we play. But it’s a cup game and it’s going to be a tough one.”

It’s your Scottish Cup debut, you’ll have been told a few stories about Hibs and this competition…

“It is a special tournament for this club; everybody tells you that. I enjoyed the semi-final of the other cup and to get to any cup final is why every team is in it at the start.

“It’s a game at a time but this is our chance to get in the hat for the next round and that’s all we’ve been concentrating on.”

When do you hope to have made a decision on Luke Amos?

“Luke’s only just arrived and just trained on Friday. He’s been out for a while, now he’s back fit, so it’s something we’ll monitor.

READ MORE - Nick Montgomery on Luke Amos trial spell

“It was a light training session on Friday because of the game the next day so I’m looking forward to Luke being here next week and seeing how he progresses.”

What does he have to show you?

“He has to show that he’s fit and that he wants to come to the club. He’s been out for a while, he’s had offers to go into other clubs, but he felt it was right at the moment to come in so we could have a look at him.

“Time will tell but I’m really happy to have a player of that calibre in training with us, because to get any quality player that’s unattached in January is very hard and to get a player in that is attached is very complicated and never easy.

“We’ll definitely monitor that situation but he’s a player with undoubted ability and he’s played a lot of games in the Championship, which isn’t easy.”

Are you open to taking more players on trial to have a look at them?

“It’s not easy to get players in who are contracted, to have a look at them before you sign them so a lot of players who are available, or may be available, haven’t played or haven’t played at a competitive level.

“It’s something I’d always be open to because it gives you an opportunity to see them face to face and have a look at them. In Dubai, the reality was we didn’t have many players: five out injured, another four away on international duty, so to have a decent-sized group we had to take quite a few of the young players as well.

“I’m always open to having a look. We’d never be ignorant to think we’re too big to have a look at players on trial because everybody’s situation is different. Luke’s a top quality player who has gone through a tough time and now he’s found himself back fit and hungry to get back playing again.”