Michael Weir: Why Hibs striker Kevin Nisbet is the right fit for Scotland
Steve Clarke deserves credit for naming Kevin Nisbet in his latest Scotland squad and I am delighted for the young lad.
I think Steve has, wisely, looked beyond the fact that the player has been in and out the Hibs team in the last couple of months and just looked at how he can help Scotland.
For me, Kevin is a natural finisher and the national manager has noticed that he could be a great commodity. He knows that there are a lot of decent attackers but when it comes to strikers who come alive in the box and are able to make the most of any chances that come their way, there aren’t that many.
He showed that again on Saturday, when he was in the right place at the right time to get on the end of Paul Hanlon’s cross and stick away the winner and that will have helped Steve make his mind up about including him, I’m sure.
It is great for the lad, who has been through a tough time, losing his father, and missing the penalty at Hampden. But that penalty proves he is tough because he was brave enough to step up and go and take it despite everything that was going on in the background.
I think people think that players are unbreakable and can just push anything that is going on in their lives to one side but we are human too and sometimes it is difficult. So credit to Kevin. I hope he can make the most of this opportunity and show his true ability.
The first step is getting into the squad and it is nice to hear him talk about how it was his dream to play for his country. I think that will help him fit into Steve’s squad because I think he has put together a really good group, who have the desire to do well for the country and each other, and not just themselves.
For years we have seen the likes of England pull together all their best players but they haven’t always made the best team and that has cost them the success they, maybe, felt they should have had.
Steve has concentrated on getting the right balance and passion in his side and Kevin gives him something he hasn’t really had - an old-fashioned striker, who has an eye for goal and can anticipate where the ball will be and is a natural finisher. I think it was Wayne Rooney who was talking about that recently and saying that there aren’t many around any more.
Kevin maybe isn’t the one who will do all the fancy twists and turns but when he is in the box, he knows where the goal is and he is dangerous and I’m excited to see how he does for Scotland.
I think he is a great fit for Scotland, especially under Steve. He is a manager who is willing to look beyond the Old Firm or English teams and that has brought him success.
I don’t think Kevin will let him down. Every time he has stepped up a level, he has proved himself and that shows how driven he is and how good he is and I’m delighted he is in the Scotland squad.