Striker Gary Glen hopes he can “kick on” in the goalscoring stakes at Livingston after finally breaking his duck for the West Lothian club – two months after making his debut.
The 24-year-old arrived at the Energy Assets Arena in the summer keen to make a big impression in the Championship after stop-start stints at Hearts and Ross County, but Glen himself is first to admit life in Scotland’s second tier hasn’t panned out the way he had anticipated since leaving Dingwall in June.
However, last weekend he came off the bench to notch his first goal in a Lions shirt as Livingston edged past Stranraer on penalties after a 1-1 draw to make the Petrofac Training Cup final.
Now the former Broxburn Academy pupil is convinced he has rediscovered his appetite in front of goal and that his equaliser against the Blues can spark an upturn in fortunes.
“It’s good to get off the mark as obviously it’s been a while,” he said in an exclusive interview with the Evening News, “but I felt it was coming, so I’m just glad I’ve now got a goal in the end. I hope I can kick on from here.
“The previous games I have played in I have been involved in a lot of the goals, but, as a striker, scoring goals is the main thing I am looking to do. But if I am setting up goals and we’re winning games then I’m delighted with that as well.”
Manager John McGlynn has used the option of deploying Glen just off the club’s leading goalscorer Jordan White in attack, a position Glen insists he is relishing.
“I’ve played in the No.10 position many times before when I was younger,” he explained. “I like it as you see a lot more of the ball and are involved in more of the play. I haven’t set myself any targets – I want to score as many as possible – but I’ll give 100 per cent every week for the team as that’s what counts.
“I think sometimes when you are playing up front you can become quite isolated, but when I have played up there, I play off Jordan as much as I can.”
Having attained such a pivotal role in Livi’s starting XI since the season got under way in August, Glen found himself relegated to the substitutes’ bench in the previous league defeat to Rangers, as well as the cup triumph over Stranraer five days ago.
However, he isn’t one who is about to go and start demanding answers from behind McGlynn’s office door.
“I’ve just got to keep my head down and get on with it,” Glen continued. “It might have been because I hadn’t scored – I’m not too sure of the reasons – but I never asked any questions. At the end of the day the manager makes those decisions, so hopefully I’ll get picked again and he can put me back into the side against Hibs tomorrow.”
Glen doesn’t feel Livi’s current position of eighth in the Championship table reflects the football he and his team-mates have served up this year.
The West Lothian club are without a league win since September 13 when they crushed part-timers Alloa 4-0 on home soil – Glen’s strike partner White netting a hat-trick on that occasion. However, this weekend’s visitors Hibs are hardly firing on all cylinders themselves despite such a dominant display at Ibrox last month and after losing narrowly to the Easter Road outfit on the opening day of the season, Hibs goalkeeper Mark Oxley’s freakish solo effort proving to be decisive, Glen is relishing tomorrow’s local derby.
He said: “We’ve played some really good football at times and have been a bit unfortunate. We did really well against Hibs at Easter Road, particularly in the second half, so we know we are a good side.
“We’ve got to take confidence from the Stranraer game and we’re looking to get the three points this weekend and go on a wee run. The cup final is in the back of our minds, but the priority is to start putting more points on board in the league.
“Hibs will be tough and I’m sure they’ll bring a big support through, but they will have to come here and put in a performance to take anything from the match.”