Jamie Maclaren has revealed that Rangers fans threw coins at him after he scored the winner in a 2-1 win for Hibs at Ibrox last season.
The Australian striker, speaking ahead of the Socceroos’ match with South Korea, was telling media in his homeland how he believes scoring in big games for the Capital club can help him hit the goal trail for his country.
Maclaren, now in his second spell at Easter Road, has struggled with injury this term but has still managed a goal and two assists in eight Ladbrokes Premiership appearances on top of his eight goals in the second half of last season.
The 25-year-old has won six caps and is yet to find the net for the national team, but believes his exploits for Neil Lennon’s side can spur him on.
“I think my first goal for Hibs was away at Ibrox,” he said. “We scored the winner against Rangers and I remember seeing coins just fly past me, fans just launching stuff and it does just show the passion they’ve got [in Scotland].
“But even the Edinburgh derby - I’ve scored in that as well; playing in that sort of fixture is massive and I’m just proud to say I’ve represented Hibs and scored in those big fixtures.”
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Maclaren scored a hat-trick for Neil Lennon’s side in the 5-5 draw with Rangers on the last day of the 2017/18 season, just weeks after scoring the opener in a 2-1 win over a Celtic side containing international colleague Tom Rogic.
“Even playing against Tommy and Celtic, it’s great and I’m enjoying my time at the moment,” he added.
Maclaren also feels that working under recently appointed head coach Graham Arnold can help him fire on all cylinders.
“Arnie’s given me some great confidence since I’ve worked with him,” Maclaren told FoxSports on Wednesday. “I like to think I can score goals in this environment. There’s still a lot of players who can bring goals to this squad.”
Australia face South Korea on Saturday at the Suncorp Stadium, home of Brisbane Roar, where Maclaren spent two successful years, and the striker admits to getting goosebumps at returning to the arena, and the prospect of stepping onto the pitch once again.
“[Coming back here] brought great memories; probably my fondest two years I’ve spent as a footballer so far,” he said.
“It does give chills down my spine knowing that I’ve scored a lot of goals here and enjoyed some really great moments and it is nice to be back,” he added.