Goalkeeper Ofir Marciano today dismissed the late save which earned ten-man Hibs a point away to Championship leaders Queen of the South as “me doing my job”.
Having had Lewis Stevenson become the second Easter Road player to be sent off in a week after picking up two yellow cards by the 55th minute, Queens forward Dale Hilson was presented with a golden chance to put his side four points clear at the top of the table.
But Israeli internationalist Marciano, who had superbly used his legs to block a second-minute effort from the same player, thrust out a hand to push his shot away to ensure the table-topping clash ended in a no-scoring draw.
It was a fourth clean sheet in five matches for the 26-year-old, a record which, he hopes, will have been noticed by national coach Elisha Levy ahead of Israel’s World Cup qualifying double header against Macedonia and Liechtenstein at the beginning of next month.
Marciano, capped ten times by his country only to lose his place during a loan spell in Belgium which turned sour, hasn’t heard from Levy but, he insisted, his full concentration is on restoring Hibs to the Premiership.
“I hope so,” he admitted when asked of his chances of a call-up. “But I don’t know. I believe what will happen, happens. For sure, Hibs are a big club and it’s good for me to come here because I know people all over the world know about Hibs so I made a good choice.
“I didn’t play last season and to be playing every week is great. Not playing means I appreciate it all the more, every training session, every game. I am doing my best to be better every day and I am working hard.
“It is a short career and you have to use every day. Football players want to play but it was something I had to accept and I am sure the experience has made me stronger. I’ve got more confidence and more experience, so it has helped me.
“I’m happy with the way it has gone for me at Hibs so far. The number of clean sheets is good, we know that if we don’t concede there is a good chance we are going to win. Our target is to not concede for as long as we can.
“We know we should be getting three points every week and that’s our target.”
That said, Neil Lennon’s players had to settle for a point and, with scoring opportunities missed up front yet again, Marciano’s saves, and in particular that late one from Hilson, proved crucial.
Agreeing they were big moments in the game, the goalkeeper insisted: “Yes, but this is my job – that’s why Hibs brought me here.
“As a keeper I would expect to have to make a few important saves during a game – they give me confidence.”