Ofir Marciano has revealed he’s ready to battle it out with Adam Bogdan for the goalkeeping gloves at Easter Road after finally recovering from a finger operation.
The Israeli internationalist broke the finger during a training session in February, but ignored medical advice to continue playing with the aid of painkillers until the end of the season as Hibs took the battle for second place in the Premiership table to the penultimate game of the season.
However, he underwent surgery during the summer and boss Neil Lennon brought in Bogdan in on loan from Liverpool for the season, the 20-times capped Hungarian impressing with performances which culminated in four successive clean sheets.
Now Marciano – who was on the bench for Hibs’ 6-0 thrashing of Hamilton at the weekend – insists he’s up for the challenge, adamant that to have two international goalkeepers fighting it out for their place can only benefit the team.
Admitting his return has taken longer than anticipated, the 29-year-old said: “Adam is doing great, the team is doing great and it is a situation you have to accept. There is nothing I can do except work hard, be patient and create a chance for myself. I need to show the gaffer that he can trust me again and whenever he needs me I will be here and ready to play. For me, I think it is always good at a football club to have competition. It’s not up to me what happens, the only thing I can do is work hard in training to show my abilities, that is all I am dealing with. As a professional player, if you want to get higher then you need to face those challenges and these are the things you need to be tough about.
“You need to be strong mentally, strong physically and show a desire to work hard even though you are not playing at the moment. But I believe in karma and as long as I work hard and prove myself worth it I will get my chance back and when I do, I have to be ready to take it.”
Marciano, however, was adamant that while the competition Bogdan will pose, it will all be about the standards he sets for himself, adding: “You can compete with someone else, but if you don’t set high standards for yourself and try to beat that every day and get better every day, then nothing will help you.
“When you go to your bed at the end of the day, only you know if you can do more and how much better you can be and what you can do to succeed.”