DYLAN McGeouch has expressed his desire to use his disappointment at being unwanted by Celtic manager Ronny Deila as motivation to help Hibs reclaim Premiership status.
The Scotland Under-21 international midfielder moved to Easter Road on a season-long loan deal on transfer deadline day last month.
McGeouch had hoped to feature in new Celtic boss Deila’s plans but found himself dropping down the pecking order as the Norwegian coach recruited wide men Aleksandar Tonev and Mubarak Wakaso on loan.
It made McGeouch’s decision to join Alan Stubbs’ squad for the rest of their Championship campaign a straightforward one to make.
“Both the Celtic manager and myself came to that conclusion,” said the 21-year-old. “I felt I needed games at the age I am now and he felt that as well. It was best for me to go out and get games somewhere else, then come back and see how it goes.
“Of course it’s great to be part of a club like Celtic, but you want to be playing games. It’s frustrating sitting in the stand or on the bench every week. It’s a big squad and you want to play every game. To go out and get games under my belt and enjoying a Saturday with Hibs is good.
“I played a few of the games for Celtic in pre-season so I thought I was in with a chance under the new manager. Then the league started and I wasn’t really involved, so that’s when the agreement was made for me to go out and try to get about 30 games somewhere else and see how I get on.
“I hoped this was going to be my season at Celtic but it wasn’t to be. The manager picks his team and it’s up to him, it’s his opinion and you just need to respect that.
“It was good to play at the start of the season but if I’m not playing every week I think it’s best to go out and get more games and see where it takes me.
“My contract at Celtic is up at the end of this season with an option for another year. I’ll just need to see how I get on this season at Hibs and see what the plans are. It’s just about enjoying football again, playing games and seeing where it goes.
McGeouch has had a chequered start at Hibs, making four appearances so far but picking up a red card in the League Cup victory over Ross County in Dingwall which ruled him out of last week’s memorable 3-1 win over Rangers at Ibrox.
“Before I got the red card I got a few games in a row,” he added. “So as I say, it’s good to turn up at the weekend knowing you’re playing, you look forward to the week ahead. It’s great to be involved and knowing that if you play well you’ll be in the team next week.
“It wasn’t a good start to the season for Hibs. I wasn’t there at the time but I heard we were playing good football without getting the results.
“But the results against County and then Rangers at Ibrox have picked us up, with everyone on a high. It was obviously disappointing not to get the three points against Raith Rovers on Saturday but we’ll kick on this weekend at home to Dumbarton.
“Everyone thought it would be a three-way title fight in the Championship between Rangers, Hearts and Hibs but it’s a tough league as we’re finding out.
“A lot of teams are realising it’s hard to go away to some of these grounds and get results. But it’s good for Scottish football that everybody is competing and it’s not that easy for teams to go straight back up.
“It’s also good for us to have a test and hopefully we can get a few good results and get back into contention at the top of the table for the end of the season.”
McGeouch is close friends with Celtic captain Scott Brown and is hopeful he can shine for his former club over the coming months. “We all know Scott was a big Hibs fan growing up,” said McGeouch. “But I was already aware how big the club is, it’s massive. I didn’t need anyone to convince me.
“I wanted to go out and get games at a big team like Hibs, hopefully I can help get us up the table and get us fighting for a spot at the top.
“I’ve been at Celtic a few years so I got to know Scott really well. He’s not texted me yet but hopefully we can get a few results that he’ll be delighted with. We get a good bit of banter about it.”
l Dylan McGeouch was speaking at the launch of the 2014-15 SPFL Topps Match Attax Collection, which features all Scottish Premiership and Scottish Championship clubs. It is on sale now from all good retail outlets.