The news Doidge has been sidelined until December at least due to an ankle injury means renewed focus is trained on Nisbet’s future with two weeks left until the transfer window shuts.
Nisbet struck the second goal in the 2-0 Premier Sports Cup win over Kilmarnock to secure his side’s place in the last eight, where they will play Dundee United at Tannadice. The Scotland striker was a threat all afternoon and unselfishly set up Kyle Magennis’ opener five minutes after half-time. Hibs manager Ross hailed Nisbet’s performance and underlined his worth to the club.
“He hasn’t scored as many as the other forwards but his overall play has been terrific since the start of the season,” said Ross. “He’s come back from the Euros and his game has gone up another level. His movement for the two goals was magnificent. Kevin’s in a good place at the moment and long may it continue.
“I don’t want to lose my best players and the need becomes more pressing in the forward areas because we don’t have a multitude of options,” he added. “You wouldn’t want Christian’s injury to keep players here but it’s my job to make sure they’re here at the end of August.”
Ross stressed that Hibs’ focus should be to add strikers to the squad rather than risk losing another prime source of goals. The manager pointed out that this was the case even before Doidge’s injury, which comes as the forward was set to be called up to the Wales squad for the first time for the up-coming World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Estonia.
“It’s likely to be three of four months before he even returns to training so it’s a serious blow for us and for him as well,” said Ross. “He was back in contention for the Wales squad and that’s been a big driver for him.
“He’s been terrific for us and I’m so disappointed for him,” he added. “We’ll need to replace him. It’s an area we needed to strengthen before Christian’s injury, but this heightens the need for reinforcements.”