Jackson Irvine was given a helping hand from Hull City to the Australian national team – but now his focus is short-term at Hibs.
The Australian international signed for Hibs at the start of the year on a short-term deal until the end of the season. He has played eight times since his debut against Kilmarnock on January 16, his first match in almost 10 months after leaving Hull City before the English Championship restart last summer.
His long-term future will be decided in the next couple of months but Irvine is focusing on the here and now: “It’s not the time for that (contract talks), I feel as if I have just done a pre-season for the last five or six weeks. I feel I am getting to my best now.
“There will be a time for those conversations in the future. I’ve not really gave it much thought. The main focus for me after 10 months out is getting back up to speed and playing my best football.
“In terms of my fitness, I had great support from people behind the scenes at the national team and some former Hull City who helped keep me in good condition throughout the time I was without a club. It didn’t take me long to get into full flow.”
An emotional return to Dingwall awaits Irvine today, exactly five years on from County’s historic League Cup win in 2016, ironically against Hibs. He credits the Highland club for giving his career the boost it needed but Irvine hopes the Staggies don’t stand in Hibs’ way as they strive for third spot in the Scottish Premiership.
He said: “I have amazing memories of my time at Ross County. It was a huge building block for my career, coming out of the youth team at Celtic and having a difficult loan spell at Kilmarnock the season before, it wasn’t really until I went to County that I found my feet.
“The club helped progress me into the player that I have become since then. We achieved some fantastic things during my time at the club and I have very fond memories of those two seasons and what it meant for my career.
“It is a brilliant place to play your football. But we are in a good strong position to finish third and that has got to be the target now for the end of the season. These final two games (before the split) could really push us in to a really strong position going into the split, which is always key
“Especially after a couple of poor results in the last couple of games, we have to remember that’s what is at stake and it is still ultimately in our hands. We have put ourselves in this position and the reason we are there is that we are a good team and we have the players that can pull off something special this season and there is plenty of time to do it.”
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