Hibs youngster receives Andy Robertson comparison following 'phenomenal' loan spell at Queen's Park

Easter Road teenager tipped for stardom by Spiders boss Ray McKinnon

By Matthew Elder
Friday, 3rd July 2020, 7:30 am
Josh Doig has featured twice for Hibs first team in pre-season friendlies with Newcastle United and Dunfermline last season. Pic: SNS Group Craig Foy

Queen's Park fans know a promising left back when they see one.

It's been eight years since they watched a young Andy Robertson kickstart his journey towards becoming the future Scotland captain as well as an English Premier League and Champions League winner with Liverpool.

Now the Hampden faithful reckon they may have witnessed another star in the making after watching Hibs youngster Josh Doig in action last season.

Sign up to our Hibs football newsletter

Josh Doig in action during the Ladbrokes League 2 match between Queen's Park and Elgin City at Hampden Park on February 15, 2020. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

Doig was previously on the books of Edinburgh rivals Hearts before moving to Easter Road last summer. Impressive displays both in training and in development squad matches led to him signing a new extended contract until 2023 before sealing a loan move to Queen's Park in January, making seven appearances in League Two before the coronavirus shutdown.

In that time, Spiders boss Ray McKinnon was blown away by the teenager's performances and says comparisons with Robertson were there for all to see.

"He was absolutely unbelievable for us last season. He was outstanding. He must have got man of the match in three or four games," McKinnon told the Evening News.

"When I watched him before I took him on loan he was playing left centre-half for Hibs youth team, and they probably see him as a left centre-half, but we were thinking along the lines of a left back.

"His athleticism, he was up and down, he was brilliant and everybody was making comparisons with Andy Robertson.

"I kid you not, the kid was phenomenal. He's 17 [now 18] years of age and he has everything. He's quick, aggressive, athletic, with a great delivery and we were over the moon with him. We thought he was fantastic."

The former Raith, Dundee United and Falkirk boss is targeting a League Two title push next season on the back of Queen's turning full-time, and believes securing another loan move for the young Hibbie would help them achieve that.

"He's a lovely lad, and I think his father played at Queen's Park as well so there was a bit of a connection there," McKinnon added.

"He's 6ft, athletic, and has got a brilliant calm demeanor about him. I think he's got a huge future, I really do, and if we can get him back on loan this season we'll definitely try. But I would imagine they [Hibs] are looking at him right now as a right good left back. He's only young, but he's got real potential.

"Hibs might see him as centre-half but everyone at Queens was talking about the Andy Robertson comparison because he really has some engine and was getting up and down, putting crosses in and playing one-twos. He's an excellent young player with a great future ahead of him and has all the attributes.

"To walk into a different dressing room at that age, and perform the way he did, it's not easy at 17. There's got to be something about you to go and do that.

"It's easier to come through the ranks at your own club where you're in that safety net. But to have that desire at 17 to go out and play mens football and bein a dressing room with proper men, he handled that really well. That'll do him the world of good moving forward.

"He might end up as a centre-half but the way he played left back for us - on Hampden as well which is a big park - and his energy, it wouldn't surprise me if

Hibs have a look at him at left back because he was great for us, and we'd love to have him back on loan if he's not going to be involved in the first team squad this season."

Hibs youth academy came in for some recent criticism from former boss John Collins, who questioned the number of first team players produced from East Mains in recent years in the face of proposed cutbacks.

However, McKinnon is convinced Doig is one who will follow Ryan Porteous and Jamie Gullan into the starting line-up. His only two first team appearances to date came as a late substitute in last season’s friendlies against Newcastle United and Dunfermline.

"He's got competition ahead of him, Lewis Stevenson's still there and there's Sean Mackie, but I certainly think he could go in there and handle himself," McKinnon said. "He's got that really cool personality, he's very composed, so I think he could definitely do that.

"Could he go in their first team right now? Possibly. From what we saw, I think he probably could.

"To go and play week in, week out, maybe not right now, but he's big and athletic and he's probably still going to fill out a bit more. "He's got a huge future ahead of him and is a top young player."