Fraser Fyvie finds happiness as a Hibee

Fraser Fyvie scored his first goal for Hibs in the 2-0 win over Cowdenbeath and helped dominate the midfield. He celebrates with David Gray, below
Fraser Fyvie scored his first goal for Hibs in the 2-0 win over Cowdenbeath and helped dominate the midfield. He celebrates with David Gray, below
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In the context of his last few years as a footballer, these are good times for Fraser Fyvie.

The midfielder has appeared in all seven games – six as a starter – since joining Hibs early last month and his team have won every single one of them.

Contrast that with last season, when he made eight appearances in the entire campaign – for Wigan Athletic, Yeovil Town and Shrewsbury Town – and was on the winning side only once. Even then, he was substituted with Wigan losing 1-0 before they came back to record a 3-1 extra-time triumph at MK Dons in the FA Cup 14 months ago.

A first goal in more than three years – and an impressively-taken one at that – in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Cowdenbeath has merely added to Fyvie’s sense of contentment as he continues to assert himself in Alan Stubbs’ burgeoning Hibs team.

“I’m really enjoying my football at the moment,” he told the Evening News. “When you’re not playing, you’re not happy, but I’m back playing regularly now, so I’m happy. It couldn’t be going better under the manager. I hadn’t actually thought about the fact we’ve won every game I’ve played but it’s certainly been enjoyable since I came here.”

Prior to Saturday, the last time Fyvie netted in a first-team game was on St Valentine’s Day 2012, when he scored the opener in Aberdeen’s 2-1 victory at Queen of the South in the Scottish Cup. His goal at Central Park, when he pinged in a crisp low shot from the edge of the box after some excellent build-up play involving Scott Allan and David Gray, was only his fourth career goal. That is a statistic he intends to improve significantly on in the near future.

“I can’t even remember exactly when my last goal was before Saturday’s, although it would have been for Aberdeen,” he said. “I should have scored before now because I had chances in the last few games so it was good to finally get a goal. It was a great bit of play from us. We went down the right, Dave cut it back and I just tried to keep it on target. I’m trying to add goals to my game so, now that I’m off the mark, hopefully I can get a few more.”

As a ball-playing midfielder, Fyvie, 21, is prospering alongside like-minded players such as Allan, 23, and Dylan McGeouch, 22. The trio have featured prominently for the Scotland Under-21 side in recent years and are all making the most of the opportunity Hibs have offered them to get their stalled careers back on track.

“Everyone can see that I like to keep the ball on the floor, the same as the rest of the midfielders and the rest of the squad, so this team suits me well,” said Fyvie. “I had played with Dylan for Scotland Under-21s and although I had never played with Scott Allan, I’d played against him in the past so I knew all about him.

“You can see on the pitch that we know each other’s game and we try and play together. Particularly in the first half at Cowdenbeath, even on a bad surface, you could see how we play football on the floor. I thought we passed it very well and shifted them about.”

Providing a platform for the three young midfield mavericks to flourish is Scott Robertson. The 29-year-old has been an effective, steadying presence in Hibs’ engine room this season and Fyvie hailed the rejuvenated former Dundee United player as a vital cog in what is now a well-oiled machine. “It’s great to have Scott Robertson in there – he’s like a rock, just breaking things up and giving you the ball,” said Fyvie. “He’s also got a licence to go forward and when he does, he really breaks well. He’s not instructed to stay in that position the whole game, so when he goes, we just fill holes for him. It’s really enjoyable to be part of it.”

Fyvie is one of several prominent players only contracted to remain “part of it” until the end of the season. He is remaining open-minded about what the future holds. “It’s not up to me,” he said, when asked if he is likely to be at Easter Road next term. “I just need to keep putting in good performances and try and get a couple of goals. Hibs is a great club and the management staff and players around me are great. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens at the end of the season.”

As with others at Easter Road, Fyvie’s future could hinge on which division Hibs are playing in next season. Having won 12 of their last 15 games in all competitions, they are the form team of those likely to be contesting the end-of-season play-offs. Finishing second in the Championship will increase their chances further of going up through the play-offs as they will have to play two less matches than if they finish third. In that regard, they are in good fettle, already ahead of faltering Rangers side and with a chance to increase their advantage when the sides meet at Easter Road this Sunday.

“We’ve set ourselves up nicely for the Rangers game,” said Fyvie. “Winning games always breeds confidence so we’re really looking forward to Sunday. We’re not really looking at the points tally or what other teams are doing – we’re just taking it game by game and trying to win each game and see where we end up.”

Scottish Cup glory coupled with promotion remains the dream scenario for Hibs this season. To have any hope of such a glorious outcome to the campaign, the relentless form they have shown in recent months will have to be maintained at least until the end of May. “You can see in the last few games how focused we are,” said Fyvie. “The manager puts that on us and tells us that we can’t take anything for granted against anyone. We just have to keep taking it game by game.”