It was ‘relief’ to be back in the Hibs fold against Brora Rangers – and Stevie Mallan is looking forward to more competition in the engine room as Kyle Magennis arrives.
Manager Jack Ross made several changes in the Hibees’ League Cup opener against Highland League champions Brora Rangers. It wasn’t an easy task, getting a 3-1 win in the end.
The Cattachs pushed them all the way but quality from the likes of Mallan earned Hibs a win. He scored twice in the opening eight minutes as he helped ensure no banana skins were slipped on.
It’s been a tough start to the term for Mallan, unable to break into the starting XI due to the form of those in front of him. – but he’s been patient with the ‘waiting game.’
“I’ve known for the past week or so that I was gearing up for these games,” said Mallan. “It was good especially if you want to go on and do well having both come in the first ten or 15 minutes so I was gutted not to get the hattrick but it’s good to be off the mark.
“For anyone in my circumstance it’s a bit frustrating. I was out for seven months, came back in good shape and it has been a frustrating time trying to get back in the team but it just shows you how the boys are doing.
“I’m always chapping the door of the manager and telling him I want to be in the team and I want to be involved but the manager spoke to me on numerous occasions, it’s hard to get into a team that’s playing well.
“He can’t start dropping boys who are playing well, the likes of Gogic have come in from the start flying, Joe came back really well, the manager has always said if someone slips up I’ll be in contention so as bad as it sounds, you’re waiting on someone slipping up.
“But you want the team to do well and keep pushing forward and keep pushing for that third spot. It’s just going to be a waiting game.”
Arriving to increase that competition in the midfield is Mallan’s former St Mirren teammate, Magennis. It’s more quality in the middle for Ross and Mallan is delighted to see the former Saints captain arrive at Easter Road.
“I’ve been with Kyle through St Mirren and Scotland,” Magennis explained. “He’s pacey, direct, brings legs in to the team, take us forward, he’ll never pull out of a 50/50. He’s an honest hardworking player and he’s sharp and when we came through, it was good to see him at St Mirren.
“After I left, Jim Goodwin wouldn’t have made him captain if he didn’t think he was a quality player, so it was a really good coup for us to get him especially on a five-year deal.
“He’s obviously going to be a project going forward and he is a really good player. I just hope he comes back flying from his injury and gets a chance in the team.
“Hopefully I get one before him, but he’ll come back and I’m sure he’ll be a brilliant player for Hibs.”