Elias Melkersen opens up on tough start to life at Hibs - 'especially when you make 100 runs and never get the ball'
Required to shoulder the burden of expectation when he arrived in January as fans prayed he was the man to turn fortunes around and find a way to conjure up goals, the Norwegian says it was hard to magic something from nothing during a frustrating period.
“Yeah, especially when you make 100 runs and never get the ball, you do get frustrated,” said Melkersen.
But, with a new season comes a new manager, a fresher, forward-thinking style of football and the requirement for greater flexibility from the 19-year-old frontman, who will be asked to operate in a wide-Ieft role as well as a central striker at times. And, it excites the 19-year-old.
“I can feel there are more good hopes for the season and the group is positive,” Melkersen said. “I think this style will be very good.
“The forwards want to have more balls in the box and have more chances than last season and the gaffer’s playing style suits us perfectly.”
It saw the striker, who has bulked up over the summer as he looks to hold his own against Premiership defences, open his competitive account against Clyde in a straight-forward win but the defeat at Falkirk means the club is already under pressure to secure Premier Sports Cup progress.
“Of course you can feel pressure but I like that as it makes you give your best. I had last season as an experience so it’s easier to start the new season.”
And Melkersen knows what is expected of him.
“He [Johnson] says what he wants and is very strict. It is very easy for us players to understand what we need to do on the pitch. He wants us to go forward all the time so it is very clear.
“I always want to be a central striker but I do feel that being wider can help me as it means I can run forward to the goal instead of always having my back to the goal. It means I can fire off more shots earlier.”
The goals are important but after the midweek defeat, the priority is a return to winning ways on Sunday against Bonnyrigg Rose as they try to keep last season’s frustrations at bay.