Hibs’ new goalkeeper, Sean Murdoch, today insisted he won’t be content simply with a seat on the bench, declaring: “I’m here to be No. 1.”
The Easter Road club sprang a surprise by snapping up former Dunfermline, Hamilton and Accrington Stanley stopper Murdoch until January, while 20-year-old Calum Antell moved on loan to East Fife to gain further first team experience.
Although he concedes Ben Williams is obviously Pat Fenlon’s first choice goalkeeper – an ever-present as the Edinburgh club have soared to the upper reaches of the SPL table – Murdoch insisted he is determined to battle for the gloves and persuade the Hibs boss to offer him a longer deal.
The 26-year-old said: “This is possibly the shortest contract I’ve signed, but I don’t mind that. It’s all down to me to show what I can do. I believe in myself and I am here to play if called upon, not to just mope about and turn out for the Under-20 side.
“I am here to play first team games. I wouldn’t have joined the club if I didn’t feel I was capable of being number one.”
Murdoch, a lifelong Hibs fan having grown up in Wester Hailes, accepts Williams is most definitely No. 1 – at least for the time being.
He said: “I know I am up against a top goalkeeper in Ben; he has been one of our most consistent performers.
“Ben has been in the game longer than me and he has played a lot more games than me, but we both know how being a goalkeeper works.
“It’s not a versatile position – it’s the only one you can play. It’s all or nothing, you are in the team or you aren’t – it is as simple as that.
“If you are in you have to keep putting in the performances to show why you are first choice. Ben has been doing really well and I hope he continues to put in the performances he has produced so far but it is healthy for the club to have two experienced goalkeepers.
“We both want to play but in training we are good mates, you encourage and help each other and if you are the one who isn’t in the side you don’t go spitting the dummy.”
Murdoch is well aware of the troubles Hibs have encountered in recent seasons, but he insists he has joined a club on the up. He said: “I think everyone would admit Hibs have underachieved over the last couple of seasons. A club of this size, with the facilities we have, should be top four. Being second at the moment is excellent, there’s a good vibe about the place, it’s buzzing.”
Meanwhile, Hibs skipper James McPake has been forced to pull out of Northern Ireland’s squad for their World Cup qualifying match against Portugal in Oporto on Tuesday with an Achilles tendon problem. McPake, though, is confident of being fit for the club’s next SPL match, away to Ross County a week on Saturday.
Although Hibs have enjoyed a promising start to the season, McPake revealed he hasn’t been overwhelmed by his own performances.
The big defender revealed: “I think I have been OK at best. I feel there is a lot more to come from me, but I have to be happy about being fit and getting through the games. The form will come eventually.”