Kevin Nisbet happy to supply for Hibs as he insists goalscoring heroics will soon return

Kevin Nisbet isn’t concerned by a downturn in his scoring form this season as the Hibs striker insists he’s doing his bit to help the team score more as a whole.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 7:00 am
Hibs striker Kevin Nisbet scored the last time his side met Dundee United in the Scottish Cup semi-finals. Picture: SNS

Last season’s top goalscorer found the back of the net 18 times in 44 appearances for Jack Ross’ men following his summer move from Dunfermline Athletic.

His record so far this campaign, three in nine matches, isn’t a bad return by any means, but the 24-year-old knows he’s capable of better.

Due to injury concerns with Christian Doidge this summer, followed by the target-man forward suffering an Achilles injury which will keep him out for months, Nisbet has been largely asked to play a lone role in attack.

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He’s content with his responsibilities in the current set-up and knows it’s just a matter of time before he’s banging them again.

“Of course I’d like to chip in with more but I’m doing a lot of stuff off the ball as well,” he said. “My overall play is much better now and what I’m doing is leading to goals as well.

“I’m going through a bit of a bad run in front of goal but I think my overall play is very good. All it takes is one goal and you go on a run.

“Martin [Boyle] is scoring goals, Kyle Magennis is chipping in and Ryan Porteous too. We never had that a lot last season and it was all about me, Doidgey and Boyley so it makes a big difference.”

Thursday evening would make a perfect time to hit the goal trail again with Hibs taking on Dundee United in the quarter-final of the Premier Sports Cup.

Nisbet netted the opener the last time the teams met in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden as the Easter Road side ran out 2-0 winners to set up a showdown with St Johnstone.

The disappointment at failing to collect the famous trophy, coupled with falling short in two other Hampden clashes last term, has the squad raring to go ahead of this match.

“Not winning a cup was very disappointing but it’s gone now, the only thing we can do is rectify it this season and it starts against United,” the striker said.

“We expect it of ourselves. We’re a team who did very well last season and we have started this season very well also.

“So of course we expect to get to semi-finals and finals, but you can’t just turn up. You need to earn the right to get there."

The former Raith Rovers star will also be looking to impress ahead of the next round of World Cup qualifiers with Steve Clarke putting the finishing touches on his squad to face Israel and the Faroe Islands next month.

He reckons his involvement in the national set-up makes him a better contributor at Easter Road as well.

“When you train with players that have played in the Premier League then the tempo and intensity is a lot higher so the standard is higher too. You have to raise your own standards or you’ll stand out like a sore thumb,” he said.

“Every time I go away with Scotland I come back a better player so hopefully if I continue to work hard I’ll keep getting in squads."

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