BY DARREN JOHNSTONE in La Manga – Capital City Press
New Hibs goalkeeper Tony Reguero insists he will not be fazed by the challenge of trying to dislodge Mark Oxley after revealing how he relished playing alongside Iker Casillas when they were young.
The experienced Spaniard signed a one-year deal on Monday after leaving Ross County but looks set to begin the campaign on the bench after head coach Alan Stubbs admitted that Oxley is in possession of the gloves.
Reguero has been used to fighting it out for the number one jersey ever since his youth team days at Real Madrid, and insists he is looking forward to pushing Oxley, who signed a permanent two-year deal last week, for a place in the side.
The 33-year-old, who is set to begin his fourth season in Scotland following spells with Inverness, Kilmarnock and County said: “I’ve played for several teams and I’ve always had the same problem.
“I always have to fight to play and you have to show everyday what you can do.
“I played alongside Iker Casillas when we were young at Madrid and it was an education then. I remember that time very well.
“Casillas is one year older than me and sometimes the goalkeepers would train together for the whole year.”
Speaking from Hibs’ pre-season camp in La Manga, the 33-year-old added: “I know that Mark did very well last season.
“I came here to compete, enjoy my life and to fight for the number one jersey.
“After that the manager will put one of us in.
“Everyday I will fight for the number one jersey and after that it’s the decision of the manager – it’s not a problem for me.
“Competition makes you better and I’m sure for him it will be the same. I think it’s very good for any keeper to keep pushing you up.
“People have in mind that two goalkeepers have to have a bad relationship.
“But that’s not true, you work with your team-mates everyday and you have to spend so many hours with them and the goalkeeper coach. I’m sure I will get on fine with Mark.”
Reguero admits he is delighted to be continuing his playing career in Scotland after initially signing for Caley in 2012.
He added: “When I said goodbye to Scotland around a month ago, I was a little bit sad.
“But I’m so happy to be going back. Everyone has treated me so well and I’ve had a really good time.
“I’ve not always played but I really like Scotland. I actually met my girlfriend Debra, who is also Spanish, in Inverness when we were both taking English lessons.”
Hibs head coach Stubbs, meanwhile, admits he is edging closer to tying down Keith Watson on a permanent deal after the defender finished last season on loan at Easter Road from Dundee United.
Watson, who has linked up with the squad in Spain, made nine appearances before a hamstring injury brought his campaign to a premature end.
Stubbs added: “There’s every chance that something will be done very soon.
“Keith’s happy to be here, very keen to come back – he showed a real willingness.
“When Keith first came in it was to provide competition for places and he certainly did that when he got the opportunity, especially in a three at the back and as a wing-back.”