Hibs midfielder Stevie Mallan reckons he will never be deflated playing alongside Ryan Porteous – despite watching his team-mate burst a ball with a crunching tackle.
Footage of the ball coming off second best was shared online this week after defender Porteous made a full-hearted challenge during the Scotland Under-21s’ Euro 2019 qualifying victory over the Netherlands on Tuesday.
Mallan also featured in the game and insists the tackle epitomises the 19-year-old’s attitude on the pitch.
Ryan ' the taker of bodies' Porteous makes his return. And even the ball isn't safe! pic.twitter.com/OxBvExHXyQ
— The Terrace (@terracepodcast) September 12, 2018
He said: “I’ve slagged him for that but he’s probably one of the hardest tacklers I know – so as soon as that ball burst everyone in the squad was laughing.
“He’s somebody that loves a 50-50.
“I heard it because I was standing next to him and I was like ‘aw god.’
“That’s just the type of player he is. As soon as that ball rolls along the line and it’s a 50-50 that’s when big Porto’s eyes light up – that’s his goal basically. It was good.
“He’ll run through a brick wall and that’s the type of player you want in your team. He’s good to play with.”
Porteous, who is mentored by Scottish tennis icon Andy Murray, has made ten appearances for Hibs so far this term and Mallan is in no doubt that the teenager has a bright future in the game.
Speaking ahead of today’s visit of Kilmarnock, he added: “He played in Toulon over the summer there and from what I’ve heard he did really well.
“He’s only 19 playing 21s and he’s starting games, that’s brilliant.
“It shows you that confidence he has in club football and I’m sure he’ll be one of the first names on the team sheet and for call ups now.”