Ross Doohan is hoping a hat-trick of clean sheets can persuade Ross County manager Stuart Kettlewell to keep him in his starting line-up after Saturday’s successful club debut.
The on-loan Celtic goalkeeper has had to wait patiently for his chance since joining the Staggies on a season-long loan back in August.
But after Doohan’s fine performances in the Scotland Under-21s’ 2-0 triumph against the Czech Republic and 7-0 hammering of San Marino in group qualifiers, Kettlewell favoured him over established Ross Laidlaw against the Edinburgh club.
Doohan did not disappoint, pulling off three strong saves in the second half as County held out for a valuable home point.
The 22-year-old has nothing but praise for how Laidlaw has performed this season, but would love an extended run in the team.
“Obviously, I was away on international duty and played a couple of games there – and played well,” he said.
“I just got told yesterday, when I came in for training, that I would be starting the Hibs game. Since the start of the season, I haven’t managed to get my chance, but I’ve always been ready.
“I’ve been training hard, waiting for the opportunity, so thankfully it came today.
“Hopefully, with a clean sheet and decent performance I’ve strengthened my claim for a start in the next match.
“I’ve spent the last two years at Ayr and played regular football in the Championship, but I felt it was the right time to take the step up and pit myself against Premiership strikers.
“I’m here to try and get as many games as possible, work hard and benefit from the experience.”
Doohan felt he expelled any match rustiness during Scotland duty, with the valuable game time priming his sharpness for Hibs.
“We achieved two good results and we’re close now to achieving something really good in the group,” Doohan said.
“I managed to keep another couple of clean sheets when I was away there and the game-time with Scotland Under-21s set me in good stead for playing here.
“It is good to get the game, finally, for Ross County and it shows my work ethic and the way I train has been worth it.
“Big Ross has done really well, so it hasn’t been easy to get the nod to play.
“If you look at his performances, you can’t fault him for anything, but I’m just glad to get my chance.”
County resisted an early barrage of Hibs pressure, although it took the inside of the right-hand post to deny Kyle Magennis, while Alex Iacovitti also bailed out Doohan with a goal-line clearance.
It was after the break, though,the youngster showcased his talents with strong saves from Stevie Mallan and Paul Hanlon later in the game.
He said: “I knew I could be busy and I knew it would be a tough game, but I relished the challenge.”