BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Niklas Gunnarsson hopes to help Hibernian bring their season to the boil perfectly in the coming weeks with the help of his skills as a chef.
The Norwegian defender developed a love of cooking from his dad Ronny, a former football manager who bossed the Faroe Islands in the late 1980s and is now an agent.
It is an expertise he has brought with him to Edinburgh, where he ignores his team-mates’ insistence he samples haggis to stick with the superfoods he believes can boost him in his bid to help bring success to Easter Road.
The on-loan Valerenga player explained: “I’m interested in the nutritional side of things. I like my superfoods, like goji berries, proteins, carbs and fats.
“I love making food. I just bought a new cook book and I aim to prepare a new meal every day.
“My father is a very good chef, and I’ve always been interested, ever since I was young. I always watched him making stuff.
“I’ve not tried haggis yet, though – I’m not sure about that. I had fish and chips once, which was unbelievable!
“Everything’s still new to me, with the city and everything, but I’m enjoying my time here. It’s an amazing city.
“I haven’t lost yet with Hibs so it’s a good feeling, but I can’t take credit for the unbeaten run!
“We’re a good team with a lot of quality so we deserve the run.”
Gunnarsson is enjoying being a tourist in Edinburgh in his spare time, although he admits there remains plenty of sights still to be ticked off his list.
The other thing the versatile full-back revealed he has still to do since his arrival last month is learn the words to The Proclaimers’ Sunshine On Leith.
The sing-along of the Hibs anthem in the wake of the derby win over Hearts last week gave the former Elfsborg and Odd player ‘goosebumps’ and he is eager for a repeat performance of an ‘amazing’ experience.
For that to happen, Gunnarsson knows a victory over Morton in tonight’s game in hand is imperative as the Easter Road side, who are in next month’s League Cup final against Ross County, strive to challenge Rangers for the Championship title and keep an interest in the elusive Scottish Cup.
He added: “This is a very important game, just like all of them. We basically have to win every game.
“We are focused on the Morton game as much as the Hearts game. It’s massive, we have to win. We still have to win the game in hand.
“There are 12 games left for us in the league. We can’t focus on other teams and that means winning every game.”