Cool Dylan Vente wasn't by goal drought as he reveals new role in team and Celtic hope
Hibs striker Dylan Vente doesn’t strike you as the sort of person who gets worried about anything.
Going into Sunday’s match against Aberdeen, the laid-back Dutchman had not scored in nine outings for his club after a strong start to his Easter Road career. The drought was ended by him bagging the opener in the 2-0 victory over the Dons and while he was pleased to rediscover the goal trail, he knows that his overall performances have been good. Throughout his lean spell, manager Nick Montgomery has kept him in the team and after a flurry of assists, hitting the back of the net finally came.
Not that he could miss, mind you. Martin Boyle’s pass while one-on-one with Kelle Roos left him with an open goal. “It was a nice feeling,” said Vente. “At the moment I was thinking 'pass the ball' so I'm happy that he gave it to me. It was the perfect ball and an easy goal. I'm very happy with the goal and especially the win.”
There was a prolonged VAR check to see if Vente had strayed ahead of Boyle. Any concerns at that point as referee Willie Collum spoke to his assistant? "No, because he [Boyle] is quicker than me so it is not possible! I don't know how close it was.” When told it was very close, Vente smiled. "A good run, then.”
The former PSV and Roda JC man is now on six goals for the season. His role has changed slightly under Montgomery, being stationed slightly deeper. "It's an important goal for me but I wasn't playing badly,” the Dutchman – rightly – reasoned. “It wasn't that I was missing good chances. I knew that the ball would come in the next few games. I now play more as a No 10, under the striker, so I'm not in as many positions. The last three games I had assists and now I have the goal so that's how I keep positive.”
He revealed that Montgomery’s man-management assuaged any lingering doubts about his performances. “He played a big role,” said Vente. “He was keeping confidence in me. That's been good.”
Vente will hope that the old adage about goals being like London buses will ring true. A trip to Celtic Park comes next on Wednesday. “Sometimes as a striker, you score one goal and then they come in every game,” he said. “I hope that will happen. We go with a good feeling now to the Celtic match.”
Hibs took a point from Celtic when they met earlier in the season, drawing 0-0 at Easter Road. Vente knows it will be a far tougher assignment in Glasgow but refuses to be overawed by the prospect. "It will be a tough game against Celtic away,” he said. “We have to be ready and give 100 per cent and then we will see what happens. At home we played well against them. They had some chances but we had our moments as well. Hopefully we can find a way to get some points.”
Goalkeeper David Marshall was awarded the man-of-the-match award for his showing against the Dons, saving a penalty and making countless other blocks. The same again may be required against Celtic. “Marsh is a good goalkeeper, it is hard to score [in training against him],” added Vente. “Sometimes me, sometimes him. If he plays like he did against Aberdeen, it'll be good for us!”