Oh brother, Paul McGinn can’t believe John’s chat with Prince William

The other McGinn to have played for Hibs spent last week rubbing shoulders with Prince William. If John McGinn has become football royalty, his elder brother Paul has admitted that it can feel a little daunting as a more rank and file member of the McGinn clan.

Hibernian defender Paul McGinn, left, challenges for the ball with Niko Hamalainen during the Easter Road sides win at Rugby Park. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS

The 29-year-old made the move along the M8 in January to team up with former St Mirren manager Jack Ross and while he had little to prove to the man who signed him, McGinn admitted that his brother’s shadow can be a fairly daunting one to step into.

“I would think it is maybe a hindrance,” he smiled. “They all look at John and think, well, his brother can’t be as good. I suppose it does help that they are fond of his name and will want me to do well.

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“It was a surreal moment [watching him interview Prince William]. I was laughing at how upright he was sitting. John says he was just like a normal guy but I think he is living in a different world now!

“There were a few of the Watford boys there as well who Stephen [brother No 3] knows. They told him John was speaking to Prince William as if they were best mates.”

If McGinn junior has enough in his plate recovering from an ankle fracture, McGinn senior is satisfied that he is bedding in to his new surroundings.

Hibs’ recent run of form has seen them lose only once since the winter break – 2-1 to 
Rangers at Ibrox – while boss Ross has acknowledged that European football has suddenly come into his thinking, given the club’s proximity to Motherwell and Aberdeen.

The back three system favoured by Hibs has been negotiated easily enough by McGinn and he is confident that he can make a telling contribution at Easter Road as the Leith side continue their recovery from what was an horrendous start to the 
season.

“I’ve played that back three so many times now,” said McGinn. “Paul Hartley put me in at right centre back once at Celtic Park for Dundee and it was sink or swim. I managed to play well that night and I think that was a reason the manger wanted me here because I can play a number of positions.

“But it does help with the manager knowing you. It means you only have the fans to win round. It was pleasing he showed the faith to bring me here. I’m sure not that many people thought I was a big signing but hopefully the fans realise I can contribute. We have not lost many games of late and we have to be aiming to get up the table. I don’t see why we cannot make a decent fight of it. I’m pleased to be in and contributing.”

Sunday’s win at Rugby Park defied the conditions in terms of producing a fairly entertaining contest. Hibs left with the points which took them into the top six but, in fairness to Kilmarnock, had their last-minute penalty shout been given then few would have begrudged them a point given their second-half pressure.

That Hibs survived the late flurry of goalmouth activity as the hosts pressed for a leveller that would have kept the two teams on the same points in the league table may have owed as much to fortune as it did to hard work but McGinn certainly wasn’t complaining afterwards.

“It was a big win,” he added. “Everyone looked at the table beforehand and Killie could catch us if they beat us. The three points gives us a bit of breathing space and we can now look up the table.

“I’d rather it was a bit more comfortable after the break but we defended well. Playing ins strong winds is the worst conditions possible. We would rather have snow or rain. You have no idea where the ball is going, especially on that astroturf. Killie never stopped. They just kept battering the door and making us defend. If you switch off for a second they will punish you. It’s not one I will watch back but it was satisfying to get the win.”