Hibs hold 'positive talks' with Ryan Porteous over new Easter Road deal
Discussing the 23-year-old in the wake of his Scotland call-up for the UEFA Nations League triple-header against Ukraine and the Republic of Ireland, the Easter Road manager shared an update on the centre-back’s future.
“Obviously, we’re keen to keep him at Hibs and those discussions are still in play. I had a good chat with him on Wednesday and we’re due to talk to his agent over the next couple of weeks.
“So, that’s still bubbling away in the background, but positive talks are good and the timing of it was obviously important as well.
“The fact we’ve re-signed his best mate in Martin Boyle and the Scotland call-up shows you can achieve your ambitions at Hibs. That’s important, that message is key.
“And games like Saturday become very important because players like Ryan want to be at the top end of the league, competing for things on a consistent basis.”
Porteous will hope to make his senior debut for the national team, having been an unused substitute on six previous occasions, and Johnson has urged his player to prove himself to Steve Clarke.
“I’m delighted for him. I know he’s been called up before but he’s very keen to make sure he gets minutes as well. He’s probably been a little bit frustrated, like anyone, to have had the call-ups but no game-time.
“That’s something he’s got to prove. He’s got to prove to the manager and earn his trust, and he can do that.
“I think the trust is off the pitch as well. It’s there on the pitch, where he’s performing well, but he can perform better – and he knows that.
“He’s a very, very solid player, with an extreme will to win, and sometimes that boils over in his decision-making, which we’ve seen in the past.
“But it’s something he’s actively working on and we’re working with him.
“I think you start to see more composure in those moments and a little bit more maturity this season.
“That’s why the call-up has come, and now he’s got to get to the point where he gets those minutes and impresses and gains the trust of the national manager.”