Rocky Bushiri addresses ‘physical’ Hibs first impression as he reveals Hearts clash war wounds

Rocky Bushiri insists he gets a massive kick out of Scottish football’s physicality – and has already had to throw away two pairs of boots.

The Hibs defender posted an online picture of his bloodied footwear complete with a massive hole following Tuesday’s Edinburgh derby.

The on-loan Norwich defender made just his fourth appearance in the goalless draw with Hearts and reckons he is slowly getting used to the change in pace north of the border.

And former Belgium Under-21 cap Bushiri said: “The atmosphere against Hearts was really good. It was one of my first times in an atmosphere like that.

“What are my impressions of Scottish football? I can say there is a lot of contact! I have changed my boots twice already! It’s really physical, it’s up and down, but I think it suits my game, I like it.

“I can’t remember how I got the hole in my boot. I know one of the strikers did it. Then after a pass I looked at my boots and saw it was open and my foot was swelling. I couldn’t change it because of the swelling so I just kept going.”

Bushiri made his debut in the 2-0 defeat at Celtic last month before helping a makeshift defense keep clean sheets against Motherwell and Hearts.

But, after last weekend’s 3-2 loss to Livingston, the former Oostende stopper knows Hibs need another big performance at home to St Mirren to build on their derby improvements.

He added: “St Mirren are a team that will play direct. They will go at 100 per cent but we will respect them and go at 100 as well. We’ll see. We hope to win the game.

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“The fans were positive after the derby. When you give everything on the pitch they see it as well. You have to be honest sometimes and say, ‘OK, we didn’t win the game but we did give it all’.

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“We do our best all the time. The points will come I’m sure. It’s just a matter of time. We just have to take the positives from every game.”

Shaun Maloney has warned Hibs they can’t let their standards drop from their derby showing.

The manager says he would love his team to live up to what he sees as the ‘romantic’ past of the Easter Road club. But after a second-half collapse against Livi he was thrilled with the way his players battled for the badge against Hearts and wants a repeat performance against the Buddies.

Maloney said: “They really, really fought for each other as team-mates. And I think that whatever we gave the support, they gave us back even more and it felt like a really different and special moment.

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“I have to look at the performance and the way we attacked with the same energy we defended, and the desire not to concede, the desire to win tackles and really come out on top in physical duels.

“They saw a group of players who fought for their team-mates and fought for the staff but the big thing was that they really fought for the badge.

“I want to see the same thing in every game. I want to see that fight and that energy.

“Listen, I love a certain style of football and I want something that is similar to the tradition the club has
had before – a certain style, a certain romance, I love that.

“But at the moment we are not there and what I want to see every week is the mentality I saw the other night.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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