Kam­beri bounces back from Al­ba­nia dis­ap­point­ment

Evening Times - - SPORT - Alan Tem­ple

FLO KAM­BERI re­ported for in­ter­na­tional duty dream­ing of cross­ing swords with Kylian Mbappe, An­toine Griez­mann and N’Golo Kante.

In­stead, the Swiss-born striker found him­self thwarted by an in­fu­ri­at­ing tan­gle of red tape in his bid to switch al­le­giances to Al­ba­nia.

How­ever, Kam­beri can af­ford to be philo­soph­i­cal about a frus­trat­ing maiden ex­pe­ri­ence as part Eddy Reja’s na­tional side.

Af­ter all, Reja and his as­sis­tant, for­mer Rangers de­fender Ser­gio Por­rini, are bound to come call­ing again if the Hiber­nian star con­tin­ues to turn in per­for­mances such as the one he did on Sat­ur­day af­ter­noon.

“I was de­lighted to get my first call-up and I trained with the team – but I then found out that the doc­u­ments from Switzer­land were not ready,” said Kam­beri, inset. “At least I was there, I met ev­ery­body and had a good week there.

“It was very frus­trat­ing to be ruled out be­cause of pa­per­work. I did ev­ery­thing on my part to be ready, I went there and wanted to make my de­but.

“I think the Swiss (Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion) had to send some doc­u­ments to FIFA and they didn’t do it.

“I had al­ready spoke with our coach [Reja] and he showed me how he wanted me to play.

He told me: ‘I want you to start against An­dorra and play some part against the French’.

“So when the doc­u­ments were not ready, that was an­noy­ing. But life goes on. I just have to be pa­tient, now I’m back at Hibs, I’ll do my best here and hope to be back at the level next year.”

If Kam­beri did har­bour any lin­ger­ing frus­tra­tion re­gard­ing the Al­ba­nia af­fair, he took it out on Mother­well.

He played a piv­otal part in restor­ing par­ity fol­low­ing Liam Pol­worth’s early opener for the

Steel­men, slip­ping a won­der­ful through pass to Joe Newell. Al­though the mid­fielder’s low drive was saved by Mark Gille­spie, Chris­tian Doidge was on hand to bun­dle home his fourth goal in two games.

Kam­beri com­pleted the turn­around him­self, show­ing su­perb com­po­sure in a con­gested penalty area to slam a shot into the roof of the net fol­low­ing some mar­vel­lous build-up play in­volv­ing man of the match Scott Al­lan and Ja­son Nai­smith.

Daryl Hor­gan then sealed the win by fir­ing a third goal be­yond Gille­spie in the dy­ing em­bers.

This was Hibs’ first league win at Easter Road since the open­ing day of the sea­son and the man­ner of the tri­umph – open, at­tack­ing, free-flow­ing – was night and day com­pared to the lat­ter days of the Paul Heck­ing­bot­tom era.

And Kam­beri has no qualms about high­light­ing the dif­fer­ence in ap­proach since the English­man’s de­par­ture.

“Ev­ery­one is very mo­ti­vated and, in my opin­ion, we’re now play­ing a very good for­ma­tion,” ex­plained Kam­beri. It’s a 4-4-2 di­a­mond with two up top - and I think the most suc­cess­ful times the club has had was al­ways with two up front. That made the dif­fer­ence.”

If Kam­beri al­ready ad­mires Ross’s tac­ti­cal acu­men and phi­los­o­phy, the feel­ing is mu­tual.

“I knew the man­ager from last sum­mer be­cause he tried to sign me,” smiled Kam­beri. “When I saw that he was ap­pointed as the new man­ager here I was very happy be­cause he is a good per­son. He knows what he’s do­ing and he pre­pared us very well for the Mother­well game. Ev­ery­one can look for­ward now.”

Con­versely, Stephen Robin­son was left to rue his side’s lack of po­tency in the fi­nal third.

“Some of our de­ci­sion mak­ing in that last third was a bit self­ish when we should have rolled the ball and set some­one else up,” he rued.

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