Oli Shaw ‘banging down the door’ for Hibs start, says head coach

Oli Shaw
Oli Shaw
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Hibs boss Neil Lennon has revealed teenage striker Oli Shaw is “banging down the door” for a starting place after a string of impressive performances stepping off the bench.

Shaw got his longest spell of Premiership action at the weekend, replacing top scorer Simon Murray for the final 25 minutes in the 1-0 win over Partick Thistle at Firhill, which put the Easter Road side within a point of second place in the table.

The 19-year-old has been prolific in front of goal for Hibs Under-20s but now, insisted Lennon, he’s ready to play above that level as evidenced by his goal against Celtic in the Betfred Cup semi-final at Hampden, netting within a couple of minutes of coming on.

“He’s been a slow burner,” said Lennon. “Last season when he came in I thought he was a bit light, but he got stronger as the season went on. He started this season slowly, but he has been playing well for the development team.

“But I think he has gone beyond that. We see him as a first-team player and he will start games as the season goes on. His all-round game is very good, he has a good eye for a goal and physically he will develop and become stronger. I am delighted with the progress he is making. Oli is a talent, we saw what he did against Celtic. He is banging the door down for a start.”

Shaw, though, is just one of a trio of youngsters who have caught Lennon’s eye, defender Ryan Porteous and midfielder Fraser Murray regular members of his matchday squad.

Lennon said: “They’ve all come through in the past 18 months and I am really pleased to have that back-up, young players who aren’t fazed by it.”