Jamie Gullan on his Hibs learning curve and how it was hard to stay positive
Jamie Gullan could not have asked for a better start to the calendar year.
Recalled from a loan spell with League One side Raith Rovers, he was promoted to the Hibs first team squad and scored his first senior goal for the club on February 28 in a Scottish Cup tie against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Less than a fortnight later he received his first Scotland Under-21 call-up, but just days after his inclusion in Scot Gemmill’s squad Scottish football entered into a coronavirus-enforced shutdown with no visible end in sight.
For the 21-year-old, lockdown could not have come at a worse time.
Talk about timing
Gullan said: “It was hard to stay positive at the start of it all because it was the worst timing possible for me. but I just reacted to it by trying to make myself better for pre-season.
"I tried to get as fit as possible, and stronger, and came back and at pre-season I was a lot better for the work I’d put in.”
Going for goals
The forward finally opened his account for the 2020/21 season with the equaliser against Cove Rangers at the weekend and admitted he was glad to get off the mark after playing well against Brora Rangers last week but failing to find the net.
Gullan said: “I was delighted to get the goal; it was a long time coming. Hopefully it isn’t a long wait for my next one as I want to keep contributing.
"The gaffer told me at the weekend to come on and make an impact and it was good to do that. Hopefully if he keeps calling on me I can keep producing.”
Competitive but friendly
The form of Kevin Nisbet and Christian Doidge has perhaps led to Gullan spending more time on the bench than he might like, although he has been given a chance to impress during the Betfred Cup group games and will feature against Forfar Athletic at Station Park tonight.
Gullan explained: “When you have two strikers playing so well you aren’t going to get into the team if they keep scoring and the side keeps winning. I understand why I am not playing every week but I have a chance to show what I can do.”
Despite the apparent competition for places, his team-mates have still been passing on some pearls of wisdom.
Gullan added: “I learn a lot from them. They come to me to give me advice; even if I don’t ask for it.
"It is really good to work with the two of them; they bring different qualities to the game so I can learn plenty from them.
"It is great to have senior members helping you."
I knew Nisbet would be good
The arrival of Nisbet on a four-year deal during the summer led to many questioning whether the former Partick Thistle youngster could make the step up to the Premiership but having played alongside him, Gullan knew the 23-year-old would hit the ground running.
He continued: “We played together at Raith and he was banging the goals in then. He carried that form into the Championship and the Premiership.
"We worked well together and hopefully we can play together this season. I knew he could step up the levels when we were at Raith.
"Since coming here he looks faster and stronger – but he is still the same finisher.”
Don't forget you can get unlimited access to ALL Edinburgh Evening News sport stories for a whole year via our digital sport subscription. Click here to try it out today for as little as £1 a week.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.