Bullish Ofir Marciano lays down gauntlet to Adam Bogdan after making Hibs return
After experiencing competitive football for the first time this season, Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano says he is not ready to give up his spot in the first team any time soon.
The Israeli internationalist kept a clean sheet on Saturday as the Easter Road club halted their winless run of seven games with a 1-0 triumph over Hamilton Accies at the Hope CBD Stadium.
Though there had been calls in the wake of the 2-2 draw with St Mirren for last season’s No.1 to reclaim his place at the expense of Adam Bogdan, who won the gloves after an injury to Marciano in pre-season, manager Neil Lennon decided to keep the status quo.
Plans changed when Bodgan suffered a groin injury in the warm-up, robbing the ex-Bolton Wanderers star of his ability to kick the ball long. Marciano was drafted in at the last minute and largely played the role of happy spectator as Oli Shaw’s goal was enough to secure a deserved victory.
“I felt sorry for Adam getting injured, but I was happy for me as I’ve been waiting for that moment for a long time,” said the goalkeeper, whose only moment of note came when he repelled a Rakish Bingham shot midway through the first half.
“Hopefully I can get a run in the side. I did well on Saturday but I did well before also. I’ve proved myself in the two years here. I helped the team to good achievements.
“Of course I had the injury and was on the sidelines for a long time. But now I am fit, I feel good, as you saw on Saturday, and I am happy I got the chance.”
Marciano has watched on from the sidelines as Hibs have gone from sitting pretty in second place to slumping back into eighth in the Ladbrokes Premiership because of a dreadful run of form. Not since the days of Terry Butcher have the club struggled to this extent and, having helped them achieve a comfortable Championship title win in his first season, and fourth place in the top flight last term, losing isn’t something Marciano has experienced all that much during his time in Scotland.
“We owed the manager but it wasn’t just for him,” he insisted. “It was for everyone. I sense it in the dressing-room and in training, it’s not a nice situation to be in when you are not winning games. Especially at a club like Hibs, where I have been used to winning almost every week.
“It’s not a good feeling so I am happy for everyone at the club and hopefully we are going to have more wins from now on.”
The 29-year-old also had the strange distinction of being the only goalkeeper named on the original team-sheet not to be injured on the day as Jan Mucha and Gary Woods also sustained knocks for the hosts.
“It was a strange afternoon but in football you always have to be ready,” Marciano added. “It was a dangerous day for goalkeepers. But thankfully I survived!”