Ofir Marciano says ‘no panic’ at Hibs following winless run

Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano promoting the Irn Bru Cup at Batley's Bellevue Cash and Carry. Picture: Greg Macvean
Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano promoting the Irn Bru Cup at Batley's Bellevue Cash and Carry. Picture: Greg Macvean
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Hibernian goalkeeper Ofir Marciano insists there is “no panic” despite the club’s slick start to the season running into a few potholes with a three-match winless streak.

The Israeli feels that Hibs have suffered from bad luck rather than poor performances and expects them to get back on track soon.

Following a perfect run of five out of five at the start of the Championship campaign a home defeat by Ayr United has been followed up by draws with Queen of the South and Dundee United.

But Marciano is not worried and confident of a return to winning ways starting with this Saturday’s Irn-Bru Cup fourth-round clash with St Mirren at Easter Road.

“If you watch our games, we get a lot of chances, dominate the games and play well but we have been unlucky in the last part of the pitch,” said Marciano yesterday. “But still we have to be better. We are a good team though so I am not worried.

“I know that it’s going to change and we are going to score goals so we just need to stick together, keep working hard and stay positive. There is no panic.”

Marciano said he has settled well since arriving in August on loan from Ashdod. Manager Neil Lennon threw him the No 1 jersey from the off and the keeper is enjoying working with the former Celtic boss.

“He [Lennon] told me from the start that he was going to be push me to the limit, and I like that,” said Marciano. “Every training session he requires you to do your best and, as a professional footballer, you want that, you want people to push you to be better every day.

“I like that, I know he is trying to make me a better player.

“He can be critical but you have to take the criticism and use it in a positive way. That’s the way I take it and I am enjoying playing under him.”

Marciano is ambitious and had his appetite for the big stage whetted even further last week when he attended the Celtic-Manchester City Champions League thriller as a guest of his compatriot and friend Nir Bitton. The Israel international admitted he hopes his career can one day reach such a high level. “For sure, but first I want to help the manager achieve his goal and get us promoted to the top league, the place where this club needs to be,” he said. “And in the end then you never know what might happen.

“This is my dream to play at such a high level but for now my main goal is to be here at Hibs and do the best for my club and help bring success here. And to improve myself and get better as well.”

Celtic midfielder Bitton returned the compliment and was in the stands at Easter Road on Sunday to watch his friend in the 1-1 draw with Dundee United. “We have known each other for a long time,” explained Marciano. “We grew up together, playing in the same team in Israel when we were young. We have also played together in the national team, playing against some really big names, which is nice.

“But I am very happy for him because he’s a good player who is doing well. I am sure Celtic will not be the last big club he plays for.

“It helps me a lot that he’s here in Scotland. It’s good also for my wife because she has a good connection with his wife, which makes our life here easier. It was a great atmosphere at Celtic Park last week. It inspires you when you see a friend playing at that level with so many fans at such a big game.”

Marciano has ten caps for his country and is disappointed to have missed on the squad for their next World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia tonight and Liechtenstein next week but he said: “Everything happens for a reason and I am sure it is for the best. I need to work hard and I am sure if I do when the next games come around I will be there.”