First interview: Scott Bain recalls performance that got him to Hibs
Scott Bain turned in a man-of-the-match performance to ensure Hibs left Dens Park with no more than a point earlier this season and now he feels that display may have helped earn him a move to Easter Road.
The then Dundee goalkeeper defied Neil Lennon’s side with a string of impressive saves but little did he think that match in late August might lead to the Capital club chasing him as they sought cover after Ross Laidlaw, understudy to Ofir Marciano, was ruled out for the rest of the season following a shoulder operation.
“I hope that made an impact on him,” admitted the 26-year-old as he completed the switch which will put him on loan with Hibs until his Dundee contract runs out in the summer.
“All you can do is play well every week and people will get an opinion in their mind about you. Hopefully that match stuck in his mind and it was the reason I am here.
“It was a good performance from me that helped us get something from that game but I was so impressed with Hibs. Now I want to produce more performances like that for Neil Lennon now.”
Bain’s heroics that day were lauded not only by Lennon but Dees manager Neil McCann, only for he and his goalkeeper to fall out to the extent the Edinburgh-born player hasn’t featured for Dundee since late October.
The Players’ Union also became embroiled in the disagreement but, as he technically remains a Dundee player, Bain skirted around the issue, preferring to focus on his hopes for the coming few months.
“You would need to speak to Dundee about that,” he replied when asked about what had happened. “But I was out of the team and this opportunity came up. It was one I was buzzing to get.”
Bain, signed from Alloa by then Dundee manager Paul Hartley, insisted he had no regrets as to how his time with the Tayside club has effectively come to an abrupt end, saying: “It’s football, things move on and they move quickly.
“I had a great three-and-a-half years there. I have some fantastic memories I will take with me and I appreciate they took a chance on me from a part-time team. It was a big risk, and I thank Paul Hartley for taking that risk. But things move on quickly and I’m not even thinking about that any more, I am just focused on being at Hibs.
“Personally I wanted to get out and try and play because I wasn’t doing so at Dundee. I am only 26 and it’s all about playing games for me, I have always made a point of that in my career, I want to play as many games as possible.”
Bain insisted he wasn’t too worried about being able to find another club as he was confident in his own ability but, he admitted, he was delighted when he first heard of Hibs’ interest, adamant he’s making a move up.
He said: “Enough people have seen me play at this level to know I can produce good performances and be consistent enough to be a Premiership goalie. I thought something might come up, I am just delighted it is Hibs.
“I had an inkling a week or so ago, my agent was on the phone to Hibs and Dundee trying to get something worked out. But when it got done I had to keep my mouth shut until it was announced, which wasn’t easy because I was so excited.
“You could see it as a step-up, there’s not many people who get a loan move from third bottom of the league to fourth top and challenging for second and third. The facilities here are fantastic, the stadium is fantastic and the level of crowd you get is unbelievable.”
Bain was jetting out with his new team-mates for their winter training camp in Portugal later today, admitting this week is the start of “a big six months” for him.
Asked if he felt he had a point to prove to anyone at Dens Park, he said: “I don’t know about individuals, but I don’t have anything to prove to Dundee. I played more than 100 games for that club, I did well for them and they did well for me. The Dundee fans were great, my Twitter inbox was full with a lot of them wishing me all the best and saying they were sorry to see me go.
“But it’s finished now and the only point I have to prove is to myself that I can play for a club like Hibs.
“I’m looking forward to working under Neil Lennon. He has a huge profile up here in Scotland. He’s done a fantastic job with Hibs. He’s a winner and he wants to win every game. That’s what I am all about and I am really looking forward to seeing how he works and doing my best for him and Hibs.”
And Bain admitted a move to the Capital could help boost his hopes of forcing his way into the Scotland set-up, having been called into the squad by former boss Gordon Strachan for a friendly against Qatar and a Euro 2016 qualifying game with the Republic of Ireland in 2015.
He said: “It’s not something I have ever really focused on, if it happens, it happens. But playing at a club of the stature of Hibs, competing at the top end of the division, can only be a boost to that. The first time I went away with Scotland it was unbelievable, fantastic.
“I loved every second of it, so it’s in there at the back of my mind although the short-term focus is Hibs and doing the best I can for this club.
“If I can produce the level of performance that I know I can, then there is no reason I can’t be thought about in that conversation to be in a squad.
“My contract finishes in the summer at Dundee, so I will look to see what happens here and hopefully I do well enough to impress the manager and become a Hibs player full-time.”
If that were to happen, Bain admitted that with Laidlaw back fully fit for the start of next season, there would be stiff competition along with Marciano for the No.1 spot.
He said: “That’s a while in the future but I always think that competition at football clubs is fantastic. It helps everyone raise their game. If that is the case it will be great for all of us. But right now I am on loan for six months. I want to do well.”