Josh Doig anticipating 'intense few months' for Hibs after Scotland duty as he reveals new pressures as established first-teamer
The 19-year-old has played 35 times for Hibs so far this season but has a chance to add to his Scotland appearances as the Under-21s take on Turkey at Tynecastle on Friday night before travelling to face Kazakhstan on Tuesday.
"It's a massive run we've got coming up. It was a disappointing result but it's important we bounce back,” Doig says of Saturday’s defeat by Aberdeen.
"Dundee United is a must-win and then we've got two derbies in a row. They speak for themselves.
"It's an intense few months coming up but I think everyone is looking forward to it.”
Despite his tender years Doig has already made five appearances at Hampden for Hibs, not to mention his time spent playing at the national stadium during his loan spell at Queen’s Park.
With so many Hampden appearances under his belt, Doig knows what is at stake when Hibs take on his former club Hearts on April 16.
"We've had a few very good wins there, but definitely some disappointing results also. My Hampden experiences have been a rollercoaster.
"I'm hoping we can go in a few weeks and win that derby. I wouldn't mind that."
No longer the ‘baby’ of the Easter Road first-team squad, Doig is in his second season of senior football with Hibs.
"After winning the Young Player of the Year award, I knew it was going to be hard,” he admits.
"I'm a first-team player now. There are expectations on me. I was just looking to play my game, add some composure, and maturity to my game.
"I thought that was an important thing to work on as I'm getting older. Playing week in, week out is all that really matters."
Doig’s first season came with no fans at matches, including his parents, sister, and extended family who all had to wait to see him playing for the Capital club so not only is he dealing with being a footballer in the Scottish top flight, he is also adjusting to more media exposure, full houses at Easter Road and other grounds, and much more.
"On and off the pitch I'm dealing with mistakes and putting them to the back of my mind,” he explains.
"Last season there were no fans, so there was no one to get on at you if you did make a mistake. This season has been a massive experience to mature for myself as a footballer."
Doig was reportedly being watched by scouts from Serie A side Sassuolo during the Dons defeat and the defender is used to transfer talk, having been linked with a string of clubs since breaking into the first team.
Not that he’s particularly fazed by the speculation.
"I absolutely love it at Hibs. They brought me in at under-18 level and they've built me up ever since,” he states.
"It's an absolute dream playing there. I couldn't be happier.
"Shaun Maloney and Gary Caldwell have both been amazing. It's a different style of play and there's a lot more tactical work. I'm absolutely loving it."