Hibernian head coach Jack Ross faces an important week on and off the park after his makeshift defence earned a point against Motherwell.
With the ill David Gray joining recent long-term injury victims Stevie Mallan, Jason Naismith and Ryan Porteous on the sidelines, Hibs were down to the bare bones at Fir Park.
Tom James came in at right-back for his first appearance under Ross and helped his side keep their fifth clean sheet of the Ladbrokes Premiership season after a difficult start up against James Scott.
Ofir Marciano made a brilliant late save from substitute Christy Manzinga, tipping a shot onto the bar, as Hibs survived some sustained pressure, although they hit the post through Florian Kamberi.
Hibs’ only January signing so far, Stephane Omeonga, added some bite and energy in midfield but Ross is now looking to strengthen his squad after losing three players to injury this month and seeing Oli Shaw, Chris Maxwell and Josh Vela depart.
Any new arrivals will not be available for Tuesday’s William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round replay against Dundee United but Ross is keen to supplement his squad for the months ahead.
“Everybody who was available was stripped,” he said. “That was including Jamie (Gullan) and Fraser (Murray), who are younger players.
“We have been pushing to try and get two in. I would be hopeful we can get at least two in this week, and if we do that we are in a better position.
“We may do more than that but certainly two in and no more out would be the plan this week.”
While Hibs had an unfamiliar back four, Motherwell were short of experience up front, with Christopher Long failing to shrug off an ankle knock and Jermaine Hylton still struggling with illness.
Their front three was lacking in experience, with 19-year-old Scott the only regular. Christian Ilic made his first start since the opening day of the season and Ross MacIver made his full debut.
“We were missing Chris Long and Jermaine Hylton and it maybe showed in that final touch,” manager Stephen Robinson said.
“You have got to remember James has just turned 19, Ross MacIver was making his first start, Allan Campbell – we had kids in the team. We brought on Christy Manzinga for his second game, Mikael Ndjoli, a kid on loan.
“James was excellent in the first half. Once he adds that physicality I think we will struggle to keep hold of him.
“Christy came in and did himself no harm at all. He needs consistency, I have no idea if I’m going to get a nine or a one when I put him on the pitch. But there’s definitely potential there.
“Young Ross MacIver really held his own, for his first start he was very, very good. I think Christian Ilic will get better, he has a real understanding of the game.
“There is a depth in the squad. There is a little bit of a lack of experience but that adds excitement and an unknown as well.”
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