Tom James backs Hibs striker Christian Doidge to go on a scoring run
Tom James has backed striker Christian Doidge to get among the goals after watching his Hibs team-mate claim his first competitive strike for the Easter Road club.
Doidge opened the scoring against Alloa Athletic, with James adding a spectacular second to clinch a 2-0 Betfred Cup win and set up a showdown with Group C leaders Arbroath tomorrow night.
James, who joined this summer from Yeovil Town, knows Doidge well having faced the former Forest Green Rovers striker in League Two and he believes the player he’s currently sharing a flat with in Edinburgh will take a huge lift from his goal. He said: “That’s what he’s here for, those clever runs in behind and when you give him half a chance he’s going to take them. It was a good ball from Fraser Murray and what I’d expect from him.
“It’s good for him to get an early goal in the season. Now he’s got his first competitive goal I’m sure he’s going to be flying.”
James admitted he and his team-mates had found it tough going against Alloa, with the crowd voicing their frustration before Doidge finally made the breakthrough in the 68th minute, clipping the ball over Alloa goalkeeper Neil Parry.
He said: “When you play a team from a lower league they drop in and don’t give you a lot of space around their box, so you can force it at times. You’ve got to be patient at times like it. We were and that’s how we eventually broke them down. You know the expectations at a club this size are really big. we know that and our expectations are the same. We came in at half time knowing that it wasn’t good enough. The gaffer said a few things to try and rile us up a bit and I think it worked.”
Even so, James admitted Hibs needed his goal six minutes from time, the full back rifling a shot high into the net from 25 yards.
He said: “We pinned them back in their half for most of it and I think they only had one chance second half. But it’s always in the back of your head when you’re 1-0 up that they’ve still got a chance so the second was important.
“I like to get forward and try to get goals and assists so hopefully I can get a few more now.”
As happy as Heckingbottom and his players were with the win, James admitted there was still much progress to be made. “We’ve got a lot of things to work on for the next game and the rest of the season but it’s still early doors,” he said.
“We’re still trying to get to know each other on the pitch. There are positives to take but we also still have work to do.”