Florian Kamberi: Why Christian Doidge can be my new Jamie Maclaren at Hibs

Swiss hitman enjoying life alongside Welshman

Monday, 25th November 2019, 6:00 am
Hibs strikers Christian Doidge, left, and Florian Kamberi. Pic: SNS

Florian Kamberi has claimed he and Christian Doidge can recreate the lethal strike partnership the Swiss hitman shared with Jamie Maclaren.

Between them Kamberi and Australian forward Maclaren claimed 17 goals in half-a-season in 2017, helping propel Hibs into fourth place on their return to the Premiership.

The 24-year-old netted another 12 last season despite falling out of favour under former boss Neil Lennon before being asked to play wide left by his successor Paul Heckingbottom, who then favoured £350,000 summer signing Doidge as a lone striker in the opening four months of this campaign.

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However, Doidge struggled to score in the Premiership until following Heckingbottom’s sacking, he was paired with Kamberi by interim boss Eddie May to face St Johnstone, a move which saw the Welshman score a hat-trick in a 4-1.

New head coach Jack Ross stuck with that partnership for his first match and was rewarded as Doidge and Kamberi netted in a 3-1 league win over Motherwell.

And the reason why the goals are starting to flow is, according to Kamberi, pretty simple.

He said: “In my opinion, we’re now playing a very good formation. It’s a 4-4-2 diamond with two up top. And I think the most successful times the club has had, it was always with two up front.The last two games, we’ve been very, very good when playing two up front. That made the difference.

“Everyone knows that Scott (Allan) can play the final pass. Doidge is very good in the air, and I do all the other stuff on the floor – so it’s a very good mix of all three.

“I think in the last two games, we’ve shown that pretty well. I hope that continues.”

Kamberi believes the respective styles of Doidge and himself complement each other, revealing he was delighted to see his under-fire team-mate find the goal trail. He said: “If you don’t score for a few games, then you score three in one game, it obviously gives you a big boost. I was delighted he got the hat-trick last time and that he did well to score against Motherwell.

“I think we have a good partnership and we’ve shown we can play very well together, him with his strengths and me with my strengths. It has worked out pretty well for the team.”

And Kamberi insisted he and his team-mates never doubted that Doidge would come good in a green and white shirt, adding: He’s a professional – and professional enough to handle the criticism.

“Us strikers, we get the most criticism. If you don’t score the goals, even if you don’t have a chance, you get criticised!

“Criticism for me, personally, is motivation to prove people wrong and I think he used it the same way, reacted very well. He can handle it without a problem.”