Kevin Nisbet winner for Hibs gives Scotland boss Steve Clarke more food for thought
Kevin Nisbet grabbed the match winner as Hibs came from behind to defeat Cove Rangers and his grateful manager believes it will not be long before his contributions earn him a Scotland call up.
With team-mates Ryan Porteous and Paul McGinn off on international duty, the striker made sure to keep the club’s Betfred Cup ambitions ticking over in their absence and Easter Road gaffer Jack Ross insisted that the striker’s endeavours have not gone unnoticed.
“I have spoken to Steve [Clarke, Scotland boss] recently because of the inclusion of Ryan and then Paul and he is well aware of Kevin’s progress this season and how well he is doing and the attributes he has. I don’t think he is far away and, if he continues the way he is at the moment then he will force his way into that.”
The capital side had been forced to fight back after a bold start from their hosts saw Daniel Higgins convert a 17th minute freekick from the edge of the area to give Cove Rangers the lead.
The Premiership side were struggling at that stage, and the makeshift line up required a rejig at half-time as Ross, hamstrung by those international absentees and injures, tried to get the best out of the men at his disposal.
Jamie Gullan pulled one back in the 49th minute, stroking home a Martin Boyle square ball, before Nisbet was in the right place, with the right technique, on the hour mark, to flick his effort up over the keeper.
“Kevin, like others, was below the levels that we have set this season but he still has that ability to score goals,” said Ross. “We have seen it countless times in the Premiership already. He can score all types of goals and that is the good thing about him. He has been terrific since he came to the club and his contribution has been invaluable. We have said it often enough, and there is improvement and growth still in him and that will come.”
Cove manager Paul Hartley was disappointed not to take anything from a game.
“I thought we were excellent. This was our first game and we were against a really good team, but we played very well and I’m delighted with them.”
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