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Hibernian defender Josh Doig takes confidence from his display against Rangers

Heart of Midlothian v Hibernian – William Hill Scottish Cup – Semi Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Hibernian left-back Josh Doig has taken huge confidence from his Ibrox display after benefiting from a break from first-team duties.

The 18-year-old made his first appearance in six weeks against Rangers and caught the eye with an energetic performance.

“Being out the team for a while has given me a bit of a rest and I’ve been able to watch Lewi (Stevenson) and Sean Mackie as well and take a bit of their game into mine,” he said.

“It gave me a bit of a breather but it was good to be back at Ibrox and good to know the gaffer has faith in me to chuck me back in for such a big game. I was really pleased.

“I thought I had done well for being out for so long but obviously there are a few things to clean up on, like final ball. But that’s something I can work on.

“The gaffer spoke to me a few weeks ago about it, sometimes you need to look back and be proud at what you have done.

“Coming in as an 18-year-old is a big thing. I took it well, I took a wee bit of a dip in confidence but I feel I am building that back up and I’m feeling good.”

Doig gave himself an early boost at Ibrox by tearing past Rangers right-back James Tavernier, the Scottish Premiership’s top goalscorer.

“I like to think I have got a wee bit of pace,” Doig said ahead of Wednesday’s visit of Ross County. “I thought I would take a touch past him and see what happens.

“I was fortunate to get past him but it’s the final ball. When you play against Rangers you are not going to get many chances so when you do get opportunities you need to have that final ball, that killer pass.

“But it’s good to know, one of the better players in the league right now, I can take him on and kind of keep him out the game a wee bit, so that was a big confidence boost for myself.

“To play at Ibrox against those players was a big occasion. You don’t want to feel the pressure too much but you do get a few butterflies in your stomach before the game. But once you are on the pitch you just play your game and I loved every second.”

Doig has enjoyed a rapid rise in 2020 having gone from the youth ranks in January to making 14 first-team appearances this season via a loan spell.

“At the start of the year I was playing 18s and coming back from a back injury,” he said.

“(Sporting director) Graeme Mathie said ‘I think the best thing for you is to go out on loan’. And I loved every minute at Queen’s Park. Playing against men helped me so much and it kicked me on.

“I only got to play six or seven games because of Covid but I loved every second of playing at Hampden, it’s an experience that not many get.

“Over lockdown it was hard to keep yourself fit and active and keep that enthusiasm up but I kept myself in good shape, watched what I was eating and went on runs.

“The hardest part was trying to keep playing football but I was in decent enough shape so when I came back I was ready to go and I felt I fitted in with the first team and was ready to push on.”