Stevie Mallan: Hibernian midfielder aims to 'emulate John McGinn path to Scotland team'

Stevie Mallan and John McGinn
Stevie Mallan played two games at Hibs with John McGinn before the latter left for Aston Villa

Hibernian midfielder Stevie Mallan is "hungry" to emulate former St Mirren team-mate John McGinn's route into the senior Scotland side.

Mallan helped the Under-21s to European Championship qualifying wins last week against Andorra and the Netherlands.

Like McGinn, he has flourished since joining Hibs - from Barnsley in July - with six goals already this term.

"I spoke to McGinn before I came here and he spoke about how much it kicked him on as a player here," Mallan said.

"I wanted to replicate what he did. He spoke ever so highly of the club and it just made my decision even easier.

"You see the boys that have broken through like John, Scott McKenna, John Souttar, and the gap between the 21s and the first team is not as big as you think.

"It shows the manager has faith in youth and if you are doing well for the Under-21s and and your club, there is every opportunity that if you keep your standards high, you are going to have a chance to get into that first-team squad.

"That is what you want as a young player coming through - knowing the manager trusts in young players."

Mallan, now 22, has come back mentally "fresh" and confident from international duty, after the disappointment of a surprise 2-1 defeat at Livingston in Hibs' last league game.

They are in sixth place heading into Saturday's visit of Kilmarnock, seven points adrift of early leaders Hearts.

But Mallan says their city rivals' strong start adds no extra pressure to their own campaign.

"We have got our own ambitions which we will keep between ourselves. It doesn't matter who is above us right now," he said.

"It is a very long season, we are only four games in and we know what we want to do as a team to get to where we want to be.

"If we do what the manager asks of us and play the way we know we can, we will do well and hopefully we can do better than last season.

"The Livi game was a sore one and I am pretty sure you will see a performance on Saturday which better portrays us as a club."

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