Hibs boss Jack Ross rates Josh Doig's performance and offers update on state of play over transfer speculation
The 19-year-old was withdrawn from the Hibs squad for last weekend’s match against Motherwell after talk intensified over his future, with many English clubs showing interest in him. However, he made the bench in Thursday’s game against Rijeka and was handed a start as the Easter Road men hit the summit of the cinch Premiership, assisting Kyle Magennis for the second goal.
There is still plenty of interest in Doig, but with no club reaching an agreement with Hibs for a transfer, his manager Ross was happy to throw him back into the first team.
“It was easy for me to say pre-match that I had no problem bringing him back, but we knew he’d be judged on the pitch,” said Ross. “I think everyone saw how focused he was, how clear headed he is despite everything that’s been going on in the last week.
“His attitude was quite clearly: ‘I’m a Hibs player, that’s me’.
“Now, everything can change again really quickly, but what we did was take out a horrible period of uncertainty for him and he showed he has the maturity to cope with the situation.”
Doig was named the Scottish Football Writers' Association Young Player of the Year last season after a tremendous breakthrough campaign, but the victory over County on home soil was the first time Hibs fans were able to watch him in competitive action.
“I’m also delighted the fans got to see him, because it’s the first time he’s played in front of a crowd here,” added Ross.
“But what we saw here was why he was Young Player of the Year last season, he’s a real talent.
“For now, he’s a Hibs player, he’s our player. I’ve used the phrase before about talking the walk and walking the walk and so far no club has done both.
“He’s never, ever agitated to leave this club. He appreciates what we’ve done for him and he enjoys it here.
“So until I’m told otherwise, I’m happy for it to stay that way.”