Hibs striker Farid El Alagui refused to set a target for a first-team return despite making his long-awaited comeback from injury in the Development Squad’s 2-2 draw against St Mirren yesterday.
The French-born Moroccan set up Jordan Sinclair’s opening goal in the 29th minute, before making it 2-0 six minutes later with a fine finish after powering beyond a defender.
Robbie Mitchell tucked an effort home in the 39th minute to give the Buddies hope, which was eventually realised when Thomas Reilly equalised in the final minute of the match.
El Alagui, 29, admitted to feeling anxious as he prepared to play his first competitive game of football since rupturing his Achilles tendon in the 2-1 defeat away to Alloa in August, but says he forgot about it as soon as the match was underway.
The forward, who was substituted at half-time, said: “Sometimes you get a bit of apprehension when you come back. I got a little bit of it at the start, but when the game started I forgot about it and I got on with what I had to do.”
The outing was a profitable one for the powerful striker, who had scored four times in six games before his injury, as he weighed in with an assist and a goal.
But El Alagui was just delighted to get game time under his belt and is now aiming for the first team when called upon by head coach Alan Stubbs. However, he knows he’ll have his work cut out to dislodge top scorers Jason Cummings and Dominique Malonga.
He said: “The main thing was to get through the 45 minutes and I felt good. Fitness wise I felt really good, so I’m really happy with that and the goal; the assist is obviously a bonus.
“I do not have a target – when it is right for me to come back, then I will, but it is up to the staff and we have to discuss it. But, from my point of view, I feel good about it and when they need me I will be there.
“It’s not the same team as when I was injured – it’s definitely much stronger. It just gives me an extra boost to come back stronger than I was and try to get back into the team.”
Hibs Development Squad: Perntreou, Dunsmore (Stirling 46), Crane, Martyniuk, McGregor, Scott, Martin, Sinclair (Waugh 63), El Alagui (Shaw 46), Hendry, Duthie. Unused substitute: Combe.