Christian Doidge given 'big player for Hibs' verdict as Derek McInnes backs striker to hit form at Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes says that when Hibs were at their best, Christian Doidge was at the heart of things and he can’t wait to see if he can have a similar impact with the Ayrshire club.

The Welsh striker, who was told he may struggle for game time under Lee Johnson this season and was free to move on, signed for the Rugby Park outfit on loan until the end of the season.

Cup-tied, he was unable to feature as his new team-mates ousted Hearts from the Premier Sports Cup, and he is ineligible to face his parent club this weekend. But McInnes is excited to have him on the books and hopeful that he can rediscover the kind of form that made him so instrumental when Hibs were on a high.

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“Christian knows his way around the league, he knows his way around the penalty box, he had a tough time in the last year or so.

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“But when Hibs have had good periods he has been a big player for them.”

A key player as Hibs proved themselves one of the most dangerous forward lines as they secured third place in the league two seasons ago, he was the ideal foil for Kevin Nisbet and Martin Boyle as the trio accumulated a half-century goal haul, and shot Hibs to third place in the league and the latter stages of the cup competitions.

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The Welshman was also on fire the season prior to that, weighing in with 19 goals.

His form faltered last season due to covid and injury and confidence was dented when the new manager told him, on the eve of pre-season training, that he would be a peripheral player this term.

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Hibs striker Christian Doidge has joined Kilmarnock on loan until the end of the season. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

Hungry for first team football and unwilling to leave Scotland due to personal circumstances, the Kilmarnock switch affords him a solution, with McInnes hoping that will see him return to his best.

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“He’s now our player for the rest of the season and we’re delighted with that.

“I’ve waited three months to sign a striker and when we do I can’t play him for two games but such is life.

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“It will give him a chance to get to know the players. I’m delighted he sees us as a good move and he will be an important player for us, no doubt.”

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