Brandon Barker has revealed how he hopes a season on loan with Hibs will prove just as successful as his fellow Manchester City kid Patrick Roberts’ time with Celtic.
After 18 months with the Glasgow outfit, Roberts, like Barker aged just 20, held out for a further season with Brendan Rodgers’ side despite moves to see him farmed out to Southampton or Nice.
And now Barker believes working under Neil Lennon at Easter Road will be just as good for him, although he admitted his time in the Capital didn’t get off to the best of starts as Hibs’ impressive opening to the season was brought to an abrupt halt by a 3-1 defeat at home by Hamilton.
Barker was pitched into the action barely 48 hours after completing his temporary switch to Hibs, Lennon’s side trailing to a Rakish Bingham penalty, the youngster charged with “changing the game” as he replaced Danny Swanson ten minutes into the second half.
However, further goals from Louis Longridge and Bingham piled on the misery for the home fans, with only a consolation goal deep into added on time from Anthony Stokes lifting the gloom ever so slightly.
Barker said of his Hibs move: “All my friends have been wishing me good luck, they just want my career to kick on. Hopefully I can bring out my full potential here.
“I know Pat [Roberts]. I played with him a few times in the national team and at City as well. He did really well last year, he couldn’t have asked for a better year. Hopefully I can have the same success as he did. He was playing some great football with Celtic. He just showed everybody what he can do and that’s my plan – to show everyone what I can do.”
On his debut itself, Barker continued: “The result was definitely not what was planned. The team didn’t perform, we know that. It’s always difficult when you are 1-0 down. My job was to try to change the game, but unfortunately I couldn’t do that.”
The winger admitted the defeat was even more disappointing having viewed footage of Hibs’ victory against Rangers at Ibrox seven days earlier, but insisted he and his new team-mates will put things right in Sunday’s match against bottom placed Dundee at Dens Park.
He said: “We went to Rangers and won 3-2 in a great game, the boys were magnificent. That’s why we were all so disappointed. We know what we can do, we showed that last week and we should really be showing that again at home.”
Lennon had revealed he’d been on Barker’s trail since his days as manager of Bolton Wanderers and that, agreed the youngster, was pivotal in him deciding to make the move to Edinburgh.
“He is a great manager,” said Barker, “Everyone knows him in football and I knew what he wanted me to bring. Hopefully I can express myself here and bring so much more to Hibs. I hope I can bring a different dimension, breaking lines, running past players, dribbling, creating and scoring goals.”