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Scotland striker Kevin Nisbet eyeing a goal against Moldova to get back on track

Heart of Midlothian v Hibernian – cinch Premiership – Tynecastle Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Scotland striker Kevin Nisbet has no worries over his dip in form as he targets a goal against Moldova to get him back on track and seal a World Cup play-off.

The Hibernian forward has only scored once since August but is among three strikers vying for a place in Steve Clarke’s side for Friday’s encounter in Chisinau.

Nisbet admitted himself that his form had not been at its best.

“I think it has tailed off the last few weeks,” the 24-year-old said. “Obviously, we have had a bad run of results in the league campaign but it will probably take me a goal and I will be back to normal form.

“I wouldn’t say it’s about picking myself up. It’s just one of things, people go through bad spells, especially strikers. I think they get criticised more for it because they aren’t scoring and that’s what their job is.

“I am not worried at all about my form because I will always back myself to score goals. I know I will bounce back and score goals and come good again.

“I have been getting a lot of stick. I don’t really get annoyed about stuff I see on social media. I don’t really care about it. I just focus on myself and I am not worried in the slightest.”

Hibs saw their last two games postponed because of a Covid-19 outbreak and Nisbet admitted he was concerned about missing out on the squad.

“Of course I was but I didn’t let that affect me as much,” he said. “I am delighted to be here and to be given another chance to prove myself. But I think the gaffer knows it’s just a wee bit of bad form and that I am a good player.

“I have always done well since I have been away with Scotland so I think he trusts me in that sense.”

With Lyndon Dykes and Ryan Christie suspended and Ryan Fraser having withdrawn from the squad, Che Adams looks certain to start. But other places are up for grabs.

John McGinn could play in a more advanced role while Stoke forward Jacob Brown has come into the equation.

Nisbet’s lack of recent goals could affect his chances but he is determined to show his worth during Scotland’s pre-match training camp in Alicante.

“Of course it’s a factor but, me sitting here now, there is nothing really I can do about it any more,” he said. “It’s in the past so it’s just about what I do this week in training, show the gaffer I am ready to start and if not, then I’m ready to come on.”

Brown netted the only goal for Stoke at Luton on Saturday in front of the watching Clarke.

“He has come in and settled in very well,” Nisbet said. “You can see he is a good player in training, a good finisher and I think he will add quality to the squad.

“Competition is healthy and keeps everyone on their toes and makes you go out and want to do well in training and games to keep your spot.”

Nisbet’s only Scotland start came in the 1-0 Hampden win over Moldova in September and the former Partick Thistle, Raith Rovers and Dunfermline striker knows they will be difficult opponents.

“I don’t think we are going into the game over-confident,” he said. “It’s still an away tie in international football. Any international football match is hard to win.

“They have got really good players. They pass the ball well. They didn’t create an awful lot of chances but the thing they will do is work hard, and they will give it 100 per cent.

“We have to match that and our quality should shine through.”