'Obviously there are some big names': Josh Doig speaks on next Hibs manager

Learning to deal with outside noise is one of the things Josh Doig has been working on since he made the breakthrough at Hibs.

Hibs full-back Josh Doig.
Hibs full-back Josh Doig.

And that includes all the speculation surrounding who will be the new Hibs manager next season.

“I keep away from that myself but obviously there are some big names,” said last season’s Scottish Football Writers’ Young Player of the Year, who has also gained a second successive nomination for the PFA Scotland award.

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“As a group, some of the more experienced players can keep everyone away from it.

“I know there's always going to be chat – I experienced that myself at the start of the season – and there's always going to be speculation, but I think it's just about staying away from that.

“[Roy Keane] is a hard name to ignore; that would be a big one for the club. Hibs is a big club, he's a big name but whatever happens – if he does come, if he doesn't – it's not up to us as players, it's down to the boardroom staff. As players we can only do one thing and that's on the pitch.”

The mention of interested parties, such as Keane and Dutchman Phillip Cocu, have whipped up excitement among the fans but with four games remaining and the team keen to maintain the positive momentum generated by last weekend’s win in Paisley, Doig says it is important to keep things in perspective.

“There are a lot of things that can excite you – obviously the names I saw last season that were apparently in for me, explained the left-sided defender, who has operated on the wing, at full-back and at centre-back this term, under a succession of managers and interim managers.

“It's always exciting but it's always speculation. So, the only thing you have to think about is taking a step back and understanding that whatever will be, will be. Whoever the club want, they'll take. As players we don't have much say in it, so we tend to stay away from it.”

Up against Connor Barron and Calvin Ramsay of Aberdeen, and Celtic winger Liel Abada for the players’ young player award, the 19-year-old says he is a more mature version of the youngster who made it onto last year’s shortlist.

That comes with learning how to cope with heightened expectations, as well as finding a way to handle the whole team’s fall from grace, swapping last season’s third-placed finish with a drop into the bottom six.

“You are always looking for those little personal things. We know it has not been the best of seasons for the team as a whole but it’s football and it is full of ups and downs. For myself this has been a bit of a booster and we now have four games left and we need to go into them in a positive manner and try to take the three points in every game.

“People will always say things about any young player coming through and place expectations on them but, for any young player, it is better to just stay away from those expectations and focus on your own game. You are only as good as you make yourself and that’s down to the extra work you do.”