Tom Taiwo arrives at Hibs with title dream
LIKE many, Tom Taiwo was bowled over from the moment he set foot in Hibernian’s training centre, and he was similarly impressed with Easter Road.
Now he aims to help ensure Hibs can be described as first-class on the pitch as well. He has set his sights on nothing so much as top place in the Premier League.
Manager Pat Fenlon smiled when this remark was relayed to him. He must view the player as a force for good at Easter Road. So much of late has been downbeat at the club. Fenlon has signed Taiwo for his ability to keep the ball moving with clean, crisp passing. But it is clear he is an infectiously bright character to have around the place. Taiwo is already gushing about the club he has chosen to join on freedom of contract from Carlisle United.
“I came to have a look at the training ground and the stadium before I signed and immediately thought: Championship clubs [in England] and even some Premier League clubs would be envious of what we’ve got here,” he recalled yesterday. “That was a big positive for me.”
Another major positive for the 22 year-old midfielder is the thought that he can help the club he joined earlier this month to the top of the Premier League today, with a win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle. He is not prepared to accept this might be a temporary occupation of the first place spot either. Taiwo is set to make his debut this afternoon after becoming the latest addition to Fenlon’s all-new and much improved team. “From watching the boys last Saturday grind out that result against a tough Kilmarnock team, I don’t see why finishing first or second isn’t a possibility,” he said. “I can see us pushing Celtic all the way. They are dropping points and Hibs are picking them up so if it carries on in that vein then we have a great chance.
“There is a great feeling around the place and it’s not just because there is only Celtic in the league and not Rangers too,” he added. “There is an intensity in training, every day is high tempo. There’s a massive will to win. That translates on to the pitch.”
He is dismissive of former manager Greg Abbott’s claim that the player will soon realise he has made a mistake in joining Hibs. Having regretted an earlier decision to join Chelsea from Leeds United – Chelsea were later ordered to pay a sum of £5 million for the teenage pair of Taiwo and Michael Woods – it is clear he put a lot of thought in deciding to continue his career in Scotland. Taiwo originally told Carlisle that he wanted to return to Yorkshire to be nearer his family. However, he has quickly fallen in love with Edinburgh.
“I have been up here now for a week and a half and I am just settling in and looking for a place to live,” he said. “I am trying to find somewhere suitable for my wife and daughter. I really like the city.
He firmly rejects the idea that he has had second thoughts. “The problem was that he [Abbott] did not ask me for my opinions on the situation,” he said. “I am really excited about getting back playing football again. Everything is in place here for us to push on. There would be no reason for me to be disappointed about being here when I have been given such an opportunity.
“In the interview [with Abbott], the full facts have not been disclosed. People have only heard what he has to say. It is not my place to go and criticise other people. I am just going to focus on getting fit and getting into the team.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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