Former Hibs manager on "highlight" of season Josh Doig and the former Celtic star he should seek to emulate

John Collins believes Kieran Tierney is a perfect example for Josh Doig – and not only because of the Arsenal player’s proficiency at left-back.

Former Hibs manager John Collins believes the highly-rated Josh Doig should stay at Hibs (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Tierney also represents a good lesson in biding your time before making a big move to England. He concentrated on learning his craft at Celtic before leaving to join Arsenal in a £25million transfer last season at the age of 22.

Collins hopes the same is possible for Doig, who has already alerted clubs south of the border with his performances at left- back and left wing-back for Hibs this season.

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It’s the 18-year-old’s breakthrough season and Collins, a former Hibs player and manager, hopes it is the first of several campaigns at Easter Road, as wishful as this may prove.

"It is hard to knock back big offers but I've always felt for a professional footballer the most important thing is the first-team jersey,” said Collins. “You can go somewhere and get more money but if you are sitting on the bench or in the stand, life isn't quite as fun."It's about getting the balance right. The financial rewards will be there but it's about choosing the right moment and time to go. So many times we see players move too early and they disappear.“A great example for Doig is Kieran Tierney ” continued Collins. “He was a regular for many years at Celtic and then moved to Arsenal at the right time. It was good money for Celtic and good wages for Kieran. But most important of all, he is a first-team player at Arsenal. He didn't go as a squad player too young.”

Collins himself is another example of someone who bided his time after starting out at Hibs as a teenager.

A transfer to Celtic followed before he then made an adventurous move to Monaco on the way to tasting the English top-flight with Everton and Fulham.

“Looking back, I think I made the right decision,” he said. “English clubs were interested in me at Hibs and it never happened. But I was delighted because I got experience and there is nothing more important for a young player than playing every single week."That's how you develop. You work day in, day out at training but if you aren't getting that 90-minute test every week your development gets curtailed in my opinion.

“I took advice from family, managers and coaches back then. But you make the final decision and you have to make sure you do what is right for yourself. The advice I always give is: 'If you believe in your ability and you think you are a good player, don't rush it'.”

Although he describes watching Doig as the “highlight” of his season so far, Collins believes the player still has plenty of room for improvement.

“I've enjoyed watching his appetite, his desire to get forward,” he said. “For his first season, he's done a terrific job. There's still a long way for him to go. He still has to work on his final delivery into the box, but he has shown enormous potential and has taken over from Lewis Stevenson and done a great job for the team.”

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