Brandon Barker has insisted he has plenty more to offer after enjoying what Hibs boss Neil Lennon described as a “terrific” performance in his first start for the Easter Road club.
The on-loan Manchester City winger forced goalkeeper Scott Bain into two smart saves, hit the post and, by his own admission, passed up a golden opportunity to score in the 1-1 draw with Dundee at Dens Park when John McGinn’s pass left him one-on-one with Bain.
The 20-year-old was forced to limp off suffering from cramp towards what was the end of his first game for six months but by that time he had already done enough to impress Lennon, who said: “Brandon was terrific. He should have scored, he knows that himself, but hopefully when he gets fitter and sharper they will go in.”
Barker, who naturally admits his long-term ambition is to break into City’s first team, believes his season in Edinburgh will help him towards that goal, revealing playing alongside the likes of Anthony Stokes and Steven Whittaker will make him improve as a player.
He said: “For a first start, I really enjoyed it. I thought we should have won the game and I had a chance I should have scored, on any other day I would normally score. Everyone knows we put in a really good performance. We were pleased with our reaction following the Hamilton game, but we wanted the win.
“I am here to play games and if I can learn and contribute then that’s what it is all about. You can learn from players like Anthony and Steven, they have bags of experience having played for many years and I can pick up bits and pieces from them.
“I am here to help, that’s the first thing. I’ll try to improve my game every day and I really do see myself improving. That was my first game and hopefully it will be the first of many.”
Barker admitted a two-week break occasioned by World Cup qualifying matches was a personal disappointment, saying: “The Dundee game was my first in six months so it was quite tough on the legs although I was surprised to last as long as 75 minutes. That will help me get fitter.
“The international break is disappointing. I hope the boys who are away do well but getting another game this weekend would have been ideal for me.”