Hibs' Christian Doidge: I've got habit of going on scoring runs after drought

Welsh hitman wants to add another goal to his tally in Paisley

Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 6:00 am

Hibs striker Christian Doidge is hoping old habits die hard after finally breaking his Easter Road goals drought.

A £350,000 summer signing, the former Forest Green Rovers hitman faced mounting criticism as he struggled to make his mark in a green-and-white shirt.

Two early goals in the Betfred Cup were quickly forgotten as the Welshman racked up nine Premiership matches without finding the net, a barren run finally ended in dramatic fashion with a hat-trick as Hibs thumped St Johnstone to clock up a first league win since the opening day of the season.

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The international break left Doidge waiting for the opportunity to add to that tally but he did so, cancelling out Liam Polworth’s opener for Motherwell to send new head coach Jack Ross on his way to victory in his first game since taking over from the sacked Paul Heckingbottom.

Now Doidge has his fingers firmly crossed that a deluge of goals will now follow. Recalling his record down south, he said: “I’ve got a habit in my career of going on a goal-scoring run after maybe three or four games without getting one, then going on a long run.

“Hopefully that will happen here and I’ll score many more and we’ll see where I end up.”

Doidge acknowledged the significance of scoring for a second game in succession, a point made to him before Saturday’s match by team-mate Steven Whittaker.

““Whitts said it was important I scored again to keep the momentum up. It was massively important for me. I want to go on a goalscoring run, I want to get my goal ratio a little bit higher so I just need to keep plugging away and keep getting into the same positions.”

Invariably deployed by Heckingbottom as a lone frontman, Doidge echoed the words of his fellow striker Florian Kamberi – also on the scoresheet against the Steelmen – of the preference to play two up as they had also done against St Johnstone.

Admitting to being a little surprised that the two hadn’t been asked to lead the line together more often by Heckingbottom as the Yorkshireman battled for that elusive win, the player also highlighted how such a pairing allowed midfield playmaker Scott Allan to exert a much greater influence in matches.

The 27-year-old said: “I played in a two down south quiet a bit, especially at Forest Green. That suited me a lot, I try to win headers and bring people in to play, so to have a team-mate close by, it makes my job a lot easier.

“We’ve worked well together and getting the best out of Scotty playing as a No.10 helps us. It’s helped us as a team and it’s got the best out of us.

“It’s a hard battle when you are on your own. I enjoy that, although you can be a bit isolated. When you are attacking, everything maybe slows down a bit so you can get bodies up the pitch.”

Although their partnership is very much in an embryonic state, Doidge believes he and Kamberi complement each other, pointing to how his team-mate had played a huge part in his goals at McDiarmid Park with his assists.

He said: “I think it also gets the best out of Flo as well. He gets on the ball a lot more now and if he was playing up front on his own it’s probably not going to help him.

“Flo can do all his flicks and tricks and I’m the battering ram up there. It gives him a chance to get on the ball a lot more and maybe try things he wouldn’t do if he was on his own.

“I think he’s keeping a tally in his head of his assists. He has set me up a few times, so hopefully I can repay the favour.”

Doidge admitted confidence had been sent soaring after those back-to-back wins, all talk now being of seven matches unbeaten rather than ten without a win even if six of them had been draws.

Now back in the Premiership’s top six, tonight’s match against St Mirren in Paisley offers Hibs the opportunity to close the gap on the clubs immediately above them and even to possibly start eyeing those Europa League places.

Doidge said: “That’s how football can turn. We are in a good position as a football club at the minute, new manager has come in and won his first game and we’re all in good spirits and looking forward to the game.

“We were speaking about it in the changing room after the Motherwell game, how it looks so different now. We were all annoyed we got so many draws in a row. Then you win two games in a row and everything is rosy again.

“We just have to keep trying to win those games and keep trying to climb the table. It’s important we try and close the gap on the rest and tonight is a good opportunity to pick up some more points.

“We’re playing well, are in good spirits and hopefully we can do that.”