Hibs Exclusive: 'I know not every loan player is the same - but I feel a connection with fans.'

Bournemouth playmaker addresses commitment question with blunt promise
Marcondes celebrates opening the scoring in last month's draw at Tynecastle.Marcondes celebrates opening the scoring in last month's draw at Tynecastle.
Marcondes celebrates opening the scoring in last month's draw at Tynecastle.

Emi Marcondes understands why fans might accuse loan stars of lacking fight and bite, compared to players under contract at Easter Road. But the Bournemouth playmaker insists he’s giving his absolute all for Nick Montgomery and his temporary team-mates – because he’s fully bought into the whole Hibs experience.

Hibs currently have five players – January arrivals Marcondes, Myziane Maolida, Nectar Triantis and Eliezer Mayenda, as well as Manchester United prospect Will Fish – on loan from other clubs. Marcondes, who has yet to decide on his next move once his short-term deal expires, recognises that some will always suspect loan players of making business decisions when the boots start flying.

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“I’ve had that question before,” he said, the Danish No. 10 admitting: “And I’ve seen it with different players. But I think, no matter where I am, I’m always going to play with my heart and with the emotions of the club and the fans.

“I’m a player who dives into the emotions and the feeling of the fans, the feeling of winning for the club. And I really put myself into the emotions of people around the club; I’m connected to people, which means I’m more motivated. It’s been like that for me at Hibs.

“That gives me more desire to do well, more motivation and passion. That’s how I get the best out of myself. I understand that not everyone who goes on loan is like that. But that’s just the person I am, I think.”

Marcondes has become a key figure for Hibs since Montgomery persuaded him to sign during a face-to-face meeting in Dubai, the 29-year-old making seven starts, scoring twice and contributing to some of their best performances in the second half of the season. After eight months spent recovering from foot surgery, the former Brentford star is almost back to full match sharpness.

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Having been on the bench for Bournemouth before the Hibs opportunity came up, he could have stuck it out on the south coast of England, getting limited game time while still picking up his Premier League wages. But he was one of several high-profile players – led by free agent Jesse Lingard – who travelled to Dubai for intensive training in January, which gave Montgomery a chance to jump in a taxi and make his pitch on behalf of the Scottish Premiership.

“I obviously knew it would be different from the Premier League,” said Marcondes. “But I’ve really enjoyed just coming back and playing football.

“I was out for a long time, so just being back on the pitch is enjoyable for me. Having the momentum of playing every third day, in some weeks, I feel that my body is coping well.

“It helps that we’re playing good football, like we talked about. It’s easier for me because we play such good passing football, with a good structure – it’s the football I enjoy playing.”