How Christian Doidge can relate to Hibs pursuit of cup glory
When Christian Doidge was going through his recent goal drought, the clear message from his gaffer and team-mates was to keep doing what he was doing and the rewards would eventually come.
The way they saw it, he was still manoeuvring himself into good positions and the chances were coming. Eventually he would convert one.
The same could be said of Hibs and their recent cup history. Since 2015/16, when they reached both major domestic cup finals, winning the Scottish, they have produced five semi final appearances and two quarter finals. In fact, the only time they fell short was against Hearts and tonight’s opponents Queen of the South, who ousted them in round two of the 2016/17 League Cup.
But, just as he worked at maintaining a bright outlook when addressing his goalscring lull, Doidge says that Hibs’ tilt at a trophy is bound to come good eventually, provided they keep putting themselves in a position where they can make that happen.
The Welshman’s return to scoring form will, he hopes, help with that objective.
“We have a great changing room here and the boys are so supportive. We always chat about certain things and try to improve each other and encourage each other and they would always be telling me ‘it’s going to drop this week’ and I’m just glad it did against Livingston the other week.
“As a striker you want to score as many goals as you can but I knew that my overall performances were good enough and the lads appreciated that so I was never going into games feeling I shouldn’t be out there. I felt I still fully deserved my spot in the team and I was willing to do everything I could to help us win that game of football and I think that showed in my performances.”
The fact that others, such as Kevin Nisbet and Martin Boyle were weighing in so heavily with the goals, eased any anxiety, though.
“That has been massive this year. As a team we have still been so high up in the league and that has definitely taken a bit of pressure off me. It has been really good to see Boyley scoring a lot of goals and Nissy in his first year in the Scottish Prem really hit the ground running and we have had goals from everywhere.”
The 24-year-old missed out on a lucrative move to Birmingham City in January but Doidge believes the player and Hibs have benefitted from that and says it could make them even more dangerous as his strike buddy looks to bolster his international prospects.
“He’s in a good place at the moment and we’ve just got to make sure he stays happy, he keeps enjoying his football, and I’m sure he’s going to really kick on for the rest of the season. I think he’s a happy striker and happy strikers are very deadly.
“That Scottish call-up is going to give him a bit of a confidence boost, to see what it’s like to represent his country. And I’m sure he’s going to be striving to get into that squad in the summer. He knows he’s got to put in the performances for Hibs to warrant that.”