I have told Derek we will see him on Monday because I want him to make sure he gives it plenty of thought, to make sure we are not pushing him in any direction. I want him to have a clear head and make a decision. My advice to Derek would be to go and listen to them and to see what they've got to offer, see what is on the table. My advice is to give it some thought and we'll see you on Monday.
I have to say I am a bit surprised at how quickly Gary has returned but that is all credit to him. He has shown a determination from day one to get himself back, that was evident when I went to see him in hospital the night he suffered his injury. I've already said that everyone in the squad will likely participate at some stage over the next three or four weeks, I'm pretty sure of that, so to have another body available certainly does help us.
Last season Dnipro won their group against teams like Real Zaragoza, Club Brugge KV and FC Utrecht and therein lies the task for us. They have a squad packed with Ukrainian internationals who romped away with a FIFA World Cup qualifying group that included Denmark, who humbled England recently, and Greece who won the 2004 UEFA European Championship. So we are under no illusions that it's going to be a tough game.
If Derek wants to sign his contract extension, then everything would be great and we could just get on with things. That has always been the case. I have always said that the best-case scenario for us and Derek is that he signs his contract extension and concentrates on his football and scoring goals until somebody that he is happy with comes in with the right money for him.
Mowbray is a great football thinker but he does ask a lot of his players to remain on his wavelength. I sat and watched Sven-Gran Eriksson getting grilled about formations after the Northern Ireland game, ... I said to my team before kick-off that playing a lone striker at home against Dundee United could lead to criticism and if we didn't win I could be sitting on a sofa like Sven next week.
Yes, we've got a few Scotland internationals who play regularly but their last game was still in front of just 1,500 people, ... So, OK, you're playing international football against decent players but European football is about the night, the occasion, the passion, the noise, the expectation, the knotted stomach before the game, so that's the experience you need, not necessarily just playing in front of 1,500 in an under-21 game.
We can't come over here, just sit in and not try to score a goal, ... We don't want to lose 1-0 and then be full of 'what ifs' and wonder why we were not more attacking. If we go a goal down, it won't psychologically damage us too much because we will still have to score one goal to win the tie. If they scored early, our game plan wouldn't really change.
I know if Derek is in the team and we create chances, invariably, he will hit the target and score. All I'm trying to make him aware of are the standards required to play at another level. Ian Rush was the best striker I played against because, when I had the ball, he was like a cat. He was always waiting for you to have just one touch too many and would take it off you.
The manager is hopeful of a performance tonight of which the Hibs players who embarked upon that run to the semi-finals of the European Cup 50 years ago would approve. You still see some of that team around the stadium on match days and they are all perfect gentlemen, ... Those are the guys who laid the foundations for Hibs being an entertaining, open, passing football team, which is something I try to follow today. It's thanks to those guys that we can try and humbly follow in their footsteps.
It's a journey into the unknown, ... but we will be doing our utmost to get as much information on them as possible. We are going to be underdogs and the fact they won their group last season suggests they are a very good team. We have to be more than wary of them and we will prepare very thoroughly.