Hibs keeper Jojo looking out for No. 1

It's in the bag - Jojo feels like he's got a lock on position.It's in the bag - Jojo feels like he's got a lock on position.
It's in the bag - Jojo feels like he's got a lock on position. | SNS Group
Ghana international making up for lost time

Hibs keeper Jojo Wollacott insists he’s firmly in possession of the No. 1 jersey after stepping in for the injured David Marshall. And he’s determined to ‘reset’ during the summer, before coming back to cement his place as first choice goalie.

With Marshall out of contract and almost guaranteed to step away after Sunday’s final fixture of the season, away to Livingston, Ghana international Wollacott feels the place is his to lose, saying: “Yeah, that’s my incentive every season, whatever club I’m at. You have to think as a No.1. There is no point in thinking you will be on the bench, or you’re not striving to achieve things. So definitely the No. 1 shirt is the target for next year.”

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Wollacott has started the last three games in place of former Scotland great Marshall, with the Bristol-born former Charlton and Swindon keeper having endured an injury-afflicted campaign himself. He’s made a total of just eight appearances in his first year in Scottish football, with a hamstring injury incurred on Europa Conference League duty against Inter Club D’Escaldes putting a wrecking ball through his best-laid plans.

He says he’s learned plenty despite spending so much time in the treatment room, saying of the Scottish game: “I think when you’re down south, your perspective is different from when you’re up here. I wouldn’t say there’s more pressure – but the culture up here is much bigger than you expect.

“Obviously I’ve seen that with the Edinburgh derbies, playing at Ibrox and Parkhead. It’s definitely opened my eyes on Scottish football, but I’ve definitely enjoyed it.

“There are things to be done next year. There are expectations on where this club should be, competing for the Scottish Cup, playing in European games. There will be a few individual targets for me next year, so hopefully I hit those.

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“The injury, at the time, I thought I could play. Paul gave me one back pass, I tried to play it long and thought: ‘No, I can’t play on, this is just excruciating.’ It happens, it was unfortunate, not ideal.

“You build yourself up to get back fit, then you come back and credit to Marsh, he’s been playing unbelievably well, so you just have to wait for that opportunity. It’s a matter of time but, for a goalkeeper, it’s different. Outfielders can come on for the last 10 minutes for weeks in a row.

“As a goalkeeper, you need that run of games to be consistent in your decision making, your timing, your positioning, all those things. It is hard to go and play after being out for so long, but it’s expected of you as a goalkeeper.

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“I hope I’ll be away with Ghana this summer, I haven’t heard anything yet. So fingers crossed. After that, it’s almost a reset for me. Whoever comes in (as manager), everyone is in the same boat, you have to impress and it’s not like you’re going to walk straight into the team.”

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