Will Fish on finding form at Hibs, replacing Ryan Porteous, and his Hearts debut disaster

Will Fish admits he has big shoes to fill in replacing Ryan Porteous in the Hibs defence. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)Will Fish admits he has big shoes to fill in replacing Ryan Porteous in the Hibs defence. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Will Fish admits he has big shoes to fill in replacing Ryan Porteous in the Hibs defence. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
When talking up Will Fish’s virtues as a person and a footballer, defensive partner Paul Hanlon cited the Hibs loanee’s willingness to learn as one of his best attributes.

Always asking questions and soaking up advice, he said there was no strut or ego to betray the youngster’s lofty pedigree. That humility and capacity to use experiences to educate have stood him in good stead since his arrival on loan from Manchester United until the end of the season, bouncing back from a couple of ropey performances - one in the derby in a less-favoured full-back role - to find some solid form in recent weeks.

Stepping in to fill the void left by Ryan Porteous’ departure and Rocky Bushiri’s injury, he has contributed to the clean sheets against Aberdeen - when he also opened his goal account at the other end of the pitch - and St Mirren. But he has had to show character, resilience and patience.

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Arriving in the capital in search of regular first team football, the player who turned 20 on Friday, was forced to bide his time. But he never considered just packing up and heading back down the M6. Not even when he was thrown in at full-back and endured a difficult derby debut at Tynecastle.

“That was tough at the time and we were going through a tough spell as a team but it shows you how quickly football can change. You need to stick with it and there is always another game to put it right.

“Every player, especially at a young age, is going to experience something like that. It can’t be all plain sailing. Not in a good way but I’m glad it happened to me when it did. After every game, United get all my individual clips and they’ll review them and give me a phone call and go through them.

“It was always set in my head to stay until the end of the season because where would I go? League One, League Two? I don’t think I would get a club like Hibs so I was always happy anyway even when game time wasn’t coming around as Porto, Paul and Rocky were playing well. You have to earn your chance and when it comes you have to take it.”

In the past few weeks, as Hibs have hit a run of five games unbeaten in the league, Fish too has found his form, showing physicality and pace as part of a more sturdy backline.

But, as he prepares for the latest match, at home to Kilmarnock, with Hibs top scorer Kevin Nisbet eyeing up a return, Fish admits there is a degree of pressure when it comes to replacing a player of Porteous’ standing at the club.

“Porto was one of the main characters of the team and whilst I’ve been here he performed great weekly. It’s a bit of pressure but something I think I can handle. He is a top player and I hope I can learn some stuff from him and take it into my game.

“Considering he’s only three, four years older than me, in terms of that move he’s got with the style of football he played which is fairly similar to myself, he was a good role model.”



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