Hibs striker Christian Doidge says Celtic and Rangers can help him win Wales cap

Glasgow club’s European exploits can enhance reputation of the Scottish game
Hibernian striker Christian Doidge still dreams of playing for Wales. Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS GroupHibernian striker Christian Doidge still dreams of playing for Wales. Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group
Hibernian striker Christian Doidge still dreams of playing for Wales. Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group

Christian Doidge will tune in as Wales take on England this week, wondering what else he can do to convince Ryan Giggs that he is worthy of a chance.

The Hibernian striker, who provided the assist for Paul Hanlon’s winning goal as the Easter Road side claimed all three points against Hamilton on Friday night, says he has not heard anything from the Welsh set-up but he has not given up hope.

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And, the 28 year old believes that the success of Celtic and Rangers in European competition could provide the breakthrough, provided Hibs can continue to keep pace with them at the top end of the Premiership table and conjure up a high level of performance when it comes to head to heads..

“I am a proud Welshman and I normally watch every single [Wales] game. I will be watching as a supporter, as I normally do, and definitely wishing I was there.”

The friendly match against Gareth Southgate’s side will act as a warm up for the Nations League matches, against Republic of Ireland and Bulgaria, that follow for Wales but while he countrymen tackle international business, Doidge will be focused on Hibs overcoming the likes of Brora Rangers, Coe Rangers and Forfar in the League Cup group stages.

“I am just trying to keep my head down and work hard with Hibs and if the opportunity comes one day then I will be extremely proud but there’s nothing yet.”

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The fact he banged in 18 goals for the Easter Road side during last season’s curtailed campaign was not enough to earn him recognition but he is now hoping that collective success at club level can elevate him.

“I don’t know if I can do too much more, to be honest. He [Giggs] picks the squad and if I’m not in his squad then fair enough. I just have to keep working hard and hopefully I get an opportunity.

“I think what might help is seeing Celtic and Rangers winning in Europe. They are doing so well and are now going into the group stages in the Europa League and that shows the standard we are up against. I think sometimes people give the Scottish Premiership a bad rap and I might have been guilty of that before I came up here. But people don’t realise the quality up here and how competitive it is.

“Galatasaray are a massive club and I watched part of that game and Rangers played some really, really good football but we played them a couple of weeks ago and I thought we were as competitive as we normally are in games and it was a really good game and we drew 2-2. So, we have got to look at ourselves and think that if they are beating teams like that we have to take confidence from that and hopefully we can keep competing with the big boys.”

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In the process of building a promising partnership with summer signing Kevin Nisbet, he has been buoyed by the calibre of all of the new arrivals and believes the club is in a strong position to push for a European finish as well as some silverware and with the anticipated arrival of more players into the Scottish game from the English leagues, there is a greater opportunity to enhance reputations and catch Giggs’ eye.

“I think we will see a lot of lads coming up to the Scottish league, when you see what is going on [with squad salary caps] in League 1 and 2 in England and they will see first hand that it is not easy. It is a hard, competitive standard and you can’t take any of it for granted.

“It might help him look this way. I have a lot of friends in the game and they are always interested in the Scottish league. It is definitely something they are looking at and watching from afar, they are seeing that I have come up here and I’m doing ok. I think a lot of lads from England will now look to come up here, especially with everything that is happening in those leagues, in England, at the moment.”

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