Hibs striker Kevin Nisbet backed to become Scotland regular as Jack Ross reveals what he told Steve Clarke
Hibs boss Jack Ross has told Scotland counterpart Steve Clarke that he will not regret calling up the Easter Road club’s top scorer for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The Scotland supremo consulted Ross ahead of naming Kevin Nisbet in his squad for the triple-header against Austria, Israel and Faroe Islands at the end of this month and the man who recruited him from the Championship in the summer believes the 24-year-old has the ability to make a positive impression.
“I spoke to Steve [on Monday] and he let me know that he was going to involve Kevin in the squad and we had a chat about him for a while,” said Ross, delighted for the player who returned to scoring form against Ross County on Saturday.
“Steve was happy for me to break the news so I spoke to Kevin at the training ground the next morning and he was really, really pleased.
“I told Steve that when he gets him in, I don’t think he will be disappointed. Kevin has some really great attributes and I think he showed that again at the weekend. I have spoken about how well he has trained recently but even the most robust strikers will tell you that scoring goals is important to them so to be back on the scoresheet at the weekend was important. Hopefully, that goal, allied to the call up will help him kick on in the final games.”
With 14 goals already this term, the step up to international level sees the striker continue a dramatic rise through the ranks, one Ross predicted when trying to entice him to the club in the summer.
Two years ago he was playing in League One with Raith Rovers before signing for Dunfermline in the Championship. But Ross was convinced that Hibs could aid his Scotland ambitions.
“I am delighted he has managed to do that after a relatively short period,” he said.
This season is his first in the top flight but it is a level his manager says he has never looked out of place at and Ross says that is all credit to the player’s determination and self-belief.
“He has backed himself and proved himself in different environments. Coming into Hibs, he hit the ground running in terms of his performances in games but if you speak to the players in our squad, what he also did, from those very early training sessions, was make the other players say, ‘whoa, he’s a good player’ and that’s very important. I think he has the qualities needed to go into that Scotland squad and let all of the other players know how good he is.
“I am absolutely delighted for him and it is something for him to be proud of. The next thing is him now going in and earning that first cap. But that involvement and the chance to be about the squad and have the chance to prove himself is brilliant.
“I think he will thoroughly enjoy it and I think he will go in there not only determined to play and to show his worth on the pitch, I think he will enjoy the experience, full stop. He will be determined to do enough to ensure that it becomes a regular experience as well.”