Hibs defender Ryan Porteous addresses transfer situation and reveals his and Kevin Nisbet's stance

Rather than go banging on doors, Ryan Porteous says his initial frustration at seeing the club knock back a £1million bid for him has morphed into flattery.
Hib's Ryan Porteous celebrates with his manager Jack Ross after the Easter Road side's victory over St Mirren. Photo by Ross Parker / SNS GroupHib's Ryan Porteous celebrates with his manager Jack Ross after the Easter Road side's victory over St Mirren. Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group
Hib's Ryan Porteous celebrates with his manager Jack Ross after the Easter Road side's victory over St Mirren. Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group

The 21-year-old graduate of the Hibs academy still wants to play at the highest level possible and says the day will come when he does move on, but he accepts that the time has to be right for all parties.

“The chats I have had with the manager, he has been honest and said he wants me here but he understands that there is going to be a time, if I want to progress, when I need to make the step up,” said Porteous. “But the timing has to be right for me and for the club. I am fully aware of that. I am thankful I have a manager who is open and honest.”

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That dialogue was vital, though, as the club rejected Millwall’s move and manager Jack Ross took the decision to drop the young defender from a league line up for the first time this season. Having sat out the victory over Dundee United on Saturday, along with fellow transfer target Kevin Nisbet, the pair also started Tuesday night’s encounter with St Mirren on the bench.

Going through the mix of emotions along with a colleague and friend helped, according to Porteous

“It probably did help, because we could speak to each other about it but the manager has spoken to us whenever we needed it.

“He is a manager who wants the best for his players. He knows, and as a club, they know young players want to eventually move on and further their career.

“It is part and parcel of the game and any young player that wants to progress needs to go through it. You have to deal with it and it is a learning curve for me and others in the dressing room. Hopefully I can learn from it and be a bit more experienced if those things happen again.”

But, he was keen to make a point when he was sent on for the second half of the match in Paisley.

“I was a bit frustrated not to start the last few games but it is good to take your frustrations out by getting a goal and helping the team win. Taking Darren [McGregor] off at half time was probably more tactical. It was probably more my type of game in that it was stepping into play and hitting passes out wide.

“I started well and got the goal and it settled us a little bit and they had to come out. Then we got the second which gave us a bit of breathing space.

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“It is something that [first-team coach] John Potter and I have worked hard on over the last few months. I have usually been good for five or six goals when I am fit but I have been a bit disappointed with my runs into the box this season so it is good to open my account."

The fact that Nisbet was involved in the build-up play, which served up the corner Porteous headed home was an indication, if one was needed, that having seen the big moves blocked, neither player has any plans to down tools. Instead, there is a desire to prove they are worthy of future bids, which are capable of turning Hibs’ head.

“I don’t think I need to say to the fans that Kevin and I will give everything for the club and team while we are here. It would be a waste of six or seven months and hard work not to.”

While Nisbet had tried to push his near-£3m switch to Birmingham City through by lodging a transfer request, Porteous says he did not consider following suit.

But, the fact that both players were given game time suggests Ross has no doubts about their commitment and professionalism now that the window is shut and they are tied to Hibs for the remainder of what could be a successful season, if they can keep Aberdeen at bay on Saturday and keep the pressure on second-placed Celtic.

“I don’t think [the manager] would have brought me on if I was chapping his door saying I wanted away. Everyone wants to go and play at the highest level, they would be lying if they said they didn’t. But it is flattering that Hibs turned down the money they did for me. It shows real ambition from the club and how well run we are. Especially in the current climate. We are all in it together and the gaffer and the directors and owner know that.

“We are in a good position and there are a big few months ahead. I have had a consistent run of games but I have to thank the boys and the manager for having that faith and trust in me. It is good to be in a good place right now.

“You never want to leave on bad terms and I want to try and get the best results for the club. The timing maybe wasn’t right but we can reassess that in the summer.”

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By then, he hopes to have done enough to book a place in Scotland’s Euros squad, making him an even better proposition for potential buyers.

“Listen, there are some fantastic players in my position who are already in the set-up. I think there will need to be some injuries for me to be involved. I want to be there but I know a lot of other boys do too.

“If I can keep doing well, and if we have one or two injuries you never know what could happen. But these are the biggest games we have had for two decades and everyone wants to be involved, myself included.”

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