Hibs defender Josh Doig has opened up on the freedom he’s been given by new Easter Road boss Shaun Maloney as the left-back set his sights on emulating Scotland duo Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney.
The Hibs star is keen to pose more of a threat going forward for Shaun Maloney’s side in the coming weeks and months as he explained how two of the Hibs boss’ backroom staff are taking time out to work with him every day.
“The gaffer’s given me freedom to get forward more and get more crosses into the box,” Doig said.
“I’m still learning and I’m still young, so the crosses could be better at times, but I’m still working hard with Valerio [Zuddas] and Gary [Caldwell] at the training ground, helping me every day with my first-touch delivery because it’s a massive thing as a full-back these days.
“You look at Robbo, Tierney… they’re so good with deliveries into the box and it’s something I want to implement more in my game.”
The Hibs left-back admits his relationship with Easter Road veteran Lewis Stevenson is a “joy” as he praised the “living legend” who remains the only person to win the Scottish Cup and League Cup as a Hibee, saying:
“I love getting forward, and I especially enjoy it with Lewis Stevenson behind me because he’s the most trustworthy guy ever. I’m not too scared to lose the ball because I know he’s there and always feeding me the ball as well.
“I’ve got a great relationship with him and it’s a joy to play with a living legend at the club and he gives me a bit more freedom to go forward because he’s a bit more defensive.”
While he looks settled now after signing a long-term contract at Hibs, earlier this season the Scotland under-21 international was left out of the Easter Road side for a number of games amid speculation over his future.
Then-manager Jack Ross confirmed the club had been given assurances that a bid meeting their asking price would be made by an unnamed Premier League side but no such offer appeared, leaving Doig on the sidelines.
The defender admits he could have dealt with the rumours better and pointed to the recent exit of Martin Boyle as an example of how he could have handled it.
“I probably didn’t deal as well as I could have with the transfer interest in me in the summer, when there were all these big names around. It kind of threw me off at the start of the season,” Doig admitted.
“Obviously Martin’s probably more mature than me and could deal with it a bit better.
“It’s a hard thing when you see all these rumours flying around and it definitely took me back a bit and took me a while to get my head straight.”
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