'Playing on my mind' - honest Josh Doig admits Hibs transfer speculation got to him

Josh Doig is glad to have the distraction of playing for Scotland Under-21s.Josh Doig is glad to have the distraction of playing for Scotland Under-21s.
Josh Doig is glad to have the distraction of playing for Scotland Under-21s.
Hibs left-back Josh Doig admits his first stint away with Scotland Under-21s has helped settle his mind following a summer of uncertainty about his future.

The 19-year-old was the subject of strong interest from English clubs, including Watford and Burnley, during the transfer window.

He was withdrawn from the Hibs team for the opening match of the cinch Premiership season away to Motherwell five weeks ago when it looked like he would be heading down south, with Easter Road manager Jack Ross feeling that the possibility of the teenager moving on was affecting his game.

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Although the interest subsided, speculation continued until the transfer window closed earlier this week.

Doig explained that joining up with the Scotland squad ahead of their European Championship qualifier in Turkey on Tuesday has been the perfect tonic for him.

He said: "I was so happy at Hibs but there was a lot of talk and it was playing on my mind a wee bit. Obviously there was talk right up to the end of the window, so being away with Scotland after the transfer window has taken me away from all of that.

"It's great to be here just focusing on training and being away with the boys. Being away has really helped me after all the speculation."

Doig was called up to Scot Gemmill's squad in May but had to pull out through injury. He is excited about the prospect of making his debut for the under-21s.

He said: "We're absolutely buzzing for it, you can feel it in the team. For a lot of the boys, including myself, it's our first time with the 21s so there's a real energy and excitement about the group.

"I'm really looking forward to it. I was gutted I couldn't join up with the squad in May. It was just after the Scottish Cup final and I was in a boot for a bit because I'd done something to my heel.

"That made me more eager to get away this time and prove myself in the squad. It's exciting."

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Doig already has his eye on making the transition from the under-21s to the full Scotland squad.

He added: "The main goal is to get into the full squad. Boys like Ryan Porteous back at Hibs and Lewis Ferguson have gone from the 21s to the A squad recently.”