Christian Doidge welcomes added goals pressure as he hails 'fantastic' Hibs team-mate

Christian Doidge insists he welcomes the additional pressure on him to get goals now that strike partner Kevin Nisbet has been sidelined for the rest of the season with knee ligament damage.

Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 10:30 pm
Christian Doidge is happy to take on the goals mantle in Kevin Nisbet's enforced absence
Christian Doidge is happy to take on the goals mantle in Kevin Nisbet's enforced absence

The Welshman struck up a formidable partnership with the 24-year-old during the 2020/21 season as the two forwards and Martin Boyle all reached double figures in front of goal.

Nisbet’s season-ending injury will likely mean more gametime for Doidge – as well as the team perhaps leaning more on him for goals.

“I’m gutted for Kevin, he’s a massive player for us and with Scotland games coming up it’s a real tough one for him to take,” he said after the Dens Park stalemate.

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Doidge and Kevin Nisbet formed a potent partnership last season

“We know he will work hard to come back stronger. There’s maybe more pressure on me for goals, but I will probably get more minutes now.

“I am looking forward to it because I have never been out of the team that much since I came to the club.

“The last year has been hard but it’s down to me to put in performances for the boys."

Doidge may find himself playing alongside Elias Melkersen for the remainder of the season, although the Norwegian youngster replaced him against Dundee. There had been a clamour for him to get his chance before he eventually made his debut, and Doidge has high hopes for the 19-year-old.

"Elias has been fantastic; he’s a great lad who wants to learn and improve, and I like that about him. He’s always asking questions and working on his body to get in good shape.

"I thought he did well when he came on against Dundee. He’s got so much energy and I think the more he plays the more he’ll step up to playing in the Premiership.”

Hibs don’t have their injury problems to seek at the moment and having spent a considerable amount of time with the medical team in the first half of the season, Doidge is sympathetic to their plight but hopes to have more players available soon as the Easter Road side remains locked in an extraordinary seven-team battle for fourth place.

“We are struggling at the moment with players and the physios are very busy. Hopefully a few of the lads are back soon, although it has been a great experience for some of the young lads getting on the bench,” the 29-year-old said.

“We were disappointed because we wanted to get the three points up at Dundee. It’s hard when you go down to ten men but we showed how good we are at defending.

“Even when we went down to ten, we still created a few opportunities but when you lose a player to a red card it always makes things difficult, especially away from home.

“We wanted the three points but in the circumstances I suppose it was a good night for our defenders keeping the clean sheet when we were down to ten.

“It’s so close right across the league so the next games are going to be massive for us.

"We need to win as many as we can to hopefully get up there into that fourth position.”

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