John Coughlin has hailed the impact of on-loan Hibs duo Callum Crane and Jordan McGregor and hopes both clubs can continue to benefit from their close relationship.

Both players have been pivotal in the ‘Gers’ excellent recent formCallum Crane, Crane turning in some fantastic performances on the left flank, while McGregor has added steel and physicality to a much-improved defensive unit as he, captain Jonny Fairbairn, Brian Martin and Robert Wilson battle it out for the three centre-back berths.

“I genuinely don’t know where we’d be without the Hibs lads,” admitted Coughlin. “That’s a relationship that’s been forged over many years and hopefully that can continue because they’ve been fantastic additions for us this season.

“I’d like to [get them back again] – but you just don’t know what the situation is. I think we’ve been great for the players and have given all of them, including Dylan Stevenson and Sandy Cunningham – who’s on loan from a club in our own division – a lot of game time.”

And ahead of next week’s trip to East Stirlingshire, where Coughlin could seal his former club’s fate of finishing in bottom spot, he revealed he has the happy dilemma of a selection headache, despite Steven Notman being unlikely to feature after needing stitches to a nasty gash on his eyelid.

“We passed Elgin off the park and going to Shire next week, the only problem I have is who we play because we had good players sitting on the bench. To be fair, a few of them were ill and missed training during the week and I’m not the type who takes a chance a players – if you’re 100%, you play and if not, you’re on the bench.

“As for Stevie, I don’t think there’s any chance of him playing next week. He’s got a cut right along his eyebrow which is a big loss to me because he’s one of the soldiers in the middle of the park and I want him playing every game.”

By Martin Inglis