Hibs striker Kevin Nisbet opens up on transfer talk, being benched and where his focus now lies
There is an intriguing battle brewing at Hibs and it has nothing to do with who will finish third in the league.
The win at Dingwall took them six points clear of Aberdeen with six games remaining but who will finish top of the club’s Premiership scoring charts is proving a tighter tussle.
Martin Boyle has been a man on a mission banging in six goals in seven games.
His equaliser against Ross County took him level with Kevin Nisbet on 11 league goals but it did not take the summer signing long to get his nose back in front, immediately coming on as a substitute and grabbing the match winner eight minutes later.
Having cancelled out Billy McKay’s opener it was a massive win for Hibs and a key moment for Nisbet, who was sidelined in January due to transfer speculation and has found it hard to force his way back into the starting line-up as his replacements carved out four wins on the bounce at the beginning of February.
Given a starting berth in the defeat to St Johnstone last weekend, he was back on the bench in Dingwall, but having come on and scored his first goal since January 11, the player, who had submitted a transfer request in an attempt to push through a failed bid from Birmingham City, said it proved that incident was now behind him and that he is committed to doing his best for the Easter Road club.
“Listen, things happen in football, and it was obviously a massive opportunity to go but I love the club, I get on really well with the gaffer and I have a great relationship with everyone.
“As soon as the window closed it was in the past and my full focus and attitude was spot on. I was there for the boys, I worked hard in training and worked hard when I got on the pitch.
“The thing is I couldn’t get back in the team, because the boys were playing well. I wasn’t happy sitting on the bench, but I was happy the boys were putting in a shift. I was ready when called upon.
“And for us now it’s about getting into Europe and scoring as many goals as I can for Hibs between now and the end of the season.
“Of course, it’s flattering when any team tries to buy you. But I would like to say I am happy at Hibs, I have really enjoyed my time here.
“The club has done a lot for me, I have done a lot for the club, we have a great relationship and I don’t think that ever changed. It’s all about putting it to bed now and focusing on Europe.”
Also eager to force his way into the Scotland set-up, the proven goalscorer said he is keen to simply get back to doing what he does best rather than being distracted by contract or transfer talk.
“It got portrayed as something bigger and I wasn’t too happy about that. It happens in football, the gaffer knows that as well. He knew my attitude and my contribution to the club wouldn’t drop and, thankfully I am back scoring goals and now we are in a really good position for third.”