Ryan Porteous insists Hibernian supporters do not need to doubt his commitment while he remains at the club.
Boss Jack Ross decided it was best that the Scotland squad defender and striker Kevin Nisbet both started Hibs’ wins over Dundee United and St Mirren this week on the bench following big-money interest from south of the border.
Porteous was the subject of an unsuccessful £1million bid from Millwall, while Birmingham failed with a late £2.5million offer for Nisbet.
It has been reported Nisbet, 23, submitted a transfer request ahead of Monday’s transfer deadline after Hibs blocked his move to St Andrews and the chance to bank a £10,000 a week contract.
But both players did play a part in Tuesday’s 2-1 win in Paisley after coming on as substitutes, with Porteous heading home the opener.
There was little sign from either player that their minds lay elsewhere and Porteous insists that will remain the case while they have a green jersey on their backs.
“I don’t think I need to say to the fans that Kevin and I will give everything for the club and team while we are here,” he said. “It would be a waste of six or seven months and hard work not to.
“There aren’t many games to go and we don’t want to throw it away with poor attitudes. We are in it as a whole.
“I was a bit frustrated not to start the last few games but it is good to take your frustrations out by getting a goal and helping the team win.
“What’s happened over the last week or so is part and parcel of the game and any young player that wants to progress needs to go through it.
“You have to deal with it and it is a learning curve for me and others in the dressing room.
“Hopefully I can learn from it and be a bit more experienced if those things happen again.
“Did it help that Kevin was in a similar situation to me? It probably did. We could speak to each other about it but the manager has spoken to us whenever we needed it.
“It is a situation that most young players need to go through. I will learn from it and take it on to potentially the summer.”
Ross has vowed he will do everything he can to help prized assess like Porteous and 13-goal frontman Nisbet get the moves they crave – when the time is right.
And that message is all the reassurance Porteous needs.
“The gaffer is a manager who wants the best for his players,” said the 21-year-old. “He knows, and as a club, they know young players want to eventually move on and further their career and play at the highest level they can.
“The chats I have had with the manager he has been honest and said he wants me here but he understands that there is going to be a time, if I want to progress, then I need to make the step up.
“But the timing has to be right for me and for the club. I am fully aware of that. I am thankful I have a manager who is open and honest.”
Hibs have had financial challenges to face this year amid the Covid-19 crisis but were prepared to dig their heels in over what they saw as a fair price for two young stars who have played a key part in Ross’ team climbing as high as third place following the victory over Saints.
And Porteous said: “It is flattering that Hibs turned down the money they did for me. It shows real ambition from the club and how well run we are. Especially in the current climate we have.
“We are in it all together and the gaffer and the directors and owner know that.
“We are in a good position and there are a big few months ahead. I have had a consistent run of games but I have to thank the boys and the manager for having that faith and trust in me.
“I am still young and it is great to play every week. It is good to be in a good place right now.”