Socceroos striker Jamie Maclaren hoping for Hibs goal rush after Edinburgh derby strike against Hearts

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HIBERNIAN striker Jamie Maclaren is hoping his Edinburgh derby clincher can send him on a welcome scoring spree.

The on-loan Darmstadt 98 marksman opened his account for the Easter Road side with the winning penalty in the recent 2-1 win over Rangers at Ibrox but netted his first from open play in Friday’s 2-0 triumph over Hearts.

The 24-year-old – who is hopeful of playing his way into Australia’s World Cup squad for this summer’s finals in Russia, despite being cut from the initial selection for two friendlies this month – now has two goals from six appearances for Neil Lennon’s men and is desperate for more.

He said: “I’ve got to stay patient and confident. I had chances against Aberdeen and Kilmarnock, also.

(Pic: Pete Nowakowski)

“But I know I’ll always score goals. If I’m in the box I’ll create chances; Friday night showed I’m a box player.

“I know that if I’m playing from the start I’ll always create chances. Sometimes as a striker, it only takes one from open play to get that confidence and get that monkey off your back.

“Rangers was a penalty but a goal’s a goal in my mind and I’ll just kick on from now.”

Hibs have hauled themselves to within two points of third-placed Aberdeen with a run that has seen them win five of their last seven games.

With nine games to go in the campaign, the capital outfit have now set their sights on trying to overhaul the Dons – and even Rangers, who are seven points ahead in second but have played a game more.

They face a tough away trip on Friday night to face St Johnstone, who will be re-energised by their 4-0 hammering of Tayside rivals Dundee at the weekend.

SMELL IT

But Maclaren is hopeful the Easter Road side can keep their winning momentum going right to the end of the season.

He added on Hibs TV: “You get into that rhythm of confidence from winning games. We’re on a roll at the moment and we’re just looking forward to the next game.

“The mentality comes down from the gaffer to the players. We know what we want to do and we know what we have to do to get into the top three.

“We’re close now, we can smell it.

“We’ve got to focus on the guys above us and not worry on the guys behind us.

“Since I’ve come to the club that’s been the mentality through the squad and the staff, and that will hold us in good stead.”

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