'I'm in the shop window,' says in-form Maclaren

Rejuvenated Jamie Maclaren is playing down his Socceroos expectations as he puts himself in the "shop window" for a permanent switch to England or Scotland next season.

Jamie Maclaren

Jamie Maclaren celebrates after scoring for Hibernian Source: Getty Images

With four goals in eight starts for UEFA Europa League hunters Hibernian, the on-loan 24-year-old ex-Brisbane Roar striker's stocks are on the rise.

In 11 appearances overall, since his switch from 2.Bundesliga strugglers Darmstadt 98, Maclaren has finished on the losing side just once under new boss Neil Lennon.

And he has now scored in huge wins over the Rangers, the Edinburgh derby with Hearts and against Tom Rogic’s Celtic at the weekend.

Already clubs across the UK are monitoring Maclaren, who is likely to be released should Darmstadt go down.

"Coming to Hibs in January has been a breath of fresh air. People sometimes knock Scottish football but it's competitive and is far from a Micky Mouse league," Maclaren said.

"I take pride in scoring in the big games for us - and I’m in the shop window for the UK now."

Maclaren's sparkling fox-in-the-box form has made his failure to land a spot in Bert van Marwijk's squad for last month’s friendlies against Norway and Colombia all the more surprising.

But with four Scottish Premiership games left, Maclaren is simply intent on adding to his goal tally, rather than second guessing whether he will be on the plane to Russia in June.

"I’ve always been a believer that if I start games I will always produce that one goal every second game ratio," he said.

"In Germany I was playing in midfield and that’s not really my game.

"I don’t know what’s going to happen with my contract in Germany.

"Darmstadt (second last) still have a few games to go but if they were to go down then perhaps the UK would be a prime move for me."

After previous Socceroos setbacks, Maclaren isn't about to set himself up for further disappointments, despite his goals speaking loudly for him.

"I try not to think about it," Maclaren said.

"I'll keep focusing on scoring in big games and helping Hibs.

"That's all I can control. Whatever happens after that, let it happen.

"I've had enough disappointment with the Socceroos, not being picked when I was playing regularly in Australia.

"So I don't want to build myself up to be brought back down.

"It's about staying mentally strong and I just want to kick on from difficult situations and turn them into positives.

"This is an important time for me with my club future in the air and I just want to make the most of these next few games.

"If I can do that then other things will take care of themselves.

"It's not about holding my breath about the Socceroos, it's about making my own individual targets the focus.

"If somebody had said three months ago I was going to move to the SPL, score against Rangers and Celtic and the winner in an Edinburgh derby I wouldn't have believed them."

With Hibs chasing second spot and facing the likes of Hearts, Aberdeen and Rangers in the run-in, Maclaren said: "The club haven't finished in the top two for over 45 years and there's a real sense of belief that we can do it."

"We’ve beaten Rangers and now Celtic and have matched it with the best. There's a real sense of belief.

"The manager has brought that winning mentality and a feeling that nobody can stop us.

"It's great having a manager, who believed in me from day one.

"He's a fantastic mentor and is someone you can't help to love playing under.

"He'll give you everything and all he wants in return is the work rate and hunger to be successful."

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4 min read
Published 24 April 2018 at 11:29am
By Dave Lewis