On-loan Hibs striker Jamie Maclaren netted the winner in Saturday’s 2-1 over Rangers at Ibrox, with the 24-year-old delighted to get his Hibs career off to a winning start after making his debut off the bench.
The Australian front-man replaced Brandon Barker inside the opening 10 minutes after injury to the Manchester City winger forced him off the park in the opening exchanges.
“It was one of those things, you have always got to be ready as a sub,” explains the on-loan SV Darmstadt 98 to Hibs TV. “I’ve been waiting two weeks on my opportunity, so, I am delighted to be able to do it here [at Ibrox]. When I came on, I knew it was going to be a fantastic atmosphere, and, to be fair, in the first-half, we played some really good stuff, so, I was happy to be out there.
When you come here and play at Ibrox, you always expect that Rangers will have a period within the game, and they did, but, it was only a small period and we controlled that: obviously, they got the equaliser, but, straight away we went right up the other end, we were positive and we won a penalty.”
It was Maclaren who stepped up to take the spot-kick himself, which he dispatched beyond Wes Foderingham to win the match for the Edinburgh club.
“There was never any doubt in my mind about picking the ball up. As soon as the referee blew his whistle, I was like “I’m taking this” – it just felt right; thankfully we got the three points. As any striker would say, any goal – whether it be a tap-in or a long-range strike – is a goal, but, to do this as, not just my first goal for Hibs, but, also with the state of the game, then you need to live within the moment: to celebrate with the boys and the fans, it was an amazing moment.
We always speak about it [the position of Hibs within the league], but we only worry about ourselves. We can only control what we can control, so, we don’t really look at the table, but, we are creeping up there; our aim is to continue where we are as well as progress. We don’t want to look back and drop down the table, we want to keep going and progress up the table. In the last two weeks, we have got some great results, particularly away from home, so, we just got to keep that up and keep on building.”
“I hadn’t really played, from the start, for 6 months now,” continues the 5-time capped Aussie internationalist. “To come out and to play 80 odd minutes like that, it is great credit to the boys that have stuck in for the last 5 games as that shows the fitness we have got. It also shows our depth within the squad, with the young lad [Ryan] Porteous stepping in. Today will be great for his confidence and I am sure the boys will give him the praise that he deserves. We will get a good rest now, the boys will recharge the batteries before we get going again.
For the ones who haven’t played so much, we will probably train a little bit more to get us up to speed: 5 games in two weeks is a lot to take in for the body so I am sure we will rest and then when we return to the training ground next week, we will take it easy while also working hard at the same time.”