Ross County defender Coll Donaldson believes Hibernian striker Kevin Nisbet is different threat in Premiership
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Coll Donaldson says Kevin Nisbet's success at Hibernian this season is no surprise.
The central defender faced Nisbet three times over the last two seasons at their former clubs – Donaldson when he was at Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Nisbet at Raith Rovers and Dunfermline.
So far, Donaldson has had the upper hand when they meet, not allowing the Hibs forward to score in any of their previous meetings.
However, Ross County's January addition believes the 23-year-old has hit new heights since moving to Easter Road in the summer, where he has scored seven goals in 11 appearances across all competitions so far this season.
For Donaldson, Nisbet's quality was clear last season, and he is well aware of the threat Hibs' new talisman will pose in Dingwall this afternoon.
“It’s no surprise at all that Kevin Nisbet is doing so well this season," Donaldson insisted.
“In the Championship last year, he stood out along with Lawrence Shankland as two Premiership players playing in that league.
“He’s done exceptionally since going to Hibs, he’s their main man now, he’s playing with better players and that has improved his game too.
“Going to Hibs has taken his game to the next level and I don’t think it will be the same Kevin Nisbet I played against last year.
“He’s got a lot of strengths as a striker, he’s busy in the box. He’s not massive and he’s not rapid either, but he’s got good movement and is a finished when he’s in the box.
“He will weigh on your mistakes or if you stop moving, so he’s got a lot, he scores goals with his right foot and his left foot as well as being good in the air so he’s a striker you really need to watch or he will punish you."
Donaldson will most likely be tasked with stopping Nisbet alongside Alex Iacovitti at the Global Energy Stadium.
The duo have formed a solid partnership at the heart of a new-look Staggies defence, with Iacovitti joining from Oldham Athletic in the summer.
In any area of the pitch, it takes time for players to form understandings with each other, but there may be no more important partnership than between the centre backs.
Donaldson and Iacovitti seems to have struck up a chemistry quickly, with both players showing similar qualities in their reading of the game and comfort levels with the ball at their feet, and the former is targeting a clean sheet against the Premiership high-flyers.
“We have built up a good partnership and I think having the long pre-season helped us," Donaldson reasoned.
“It was certainly the longest one I’ve ever had, we spent more time on the training ground than you normally would.
“So that has benefited us and it’s not just Alex, you have to remember Connor Randall has come in while Josh Reid has come up from the youth team.
“It has been a brand new back four and I think having that time on the training ground, getting the work put into us by the manager and the coaching staff, has helped. They drilled into us we need to be good at the back and we need to be strong.
“When I first came here it was helter skelter – we had a lot of games and you didn’t really get a chance to work with the gaffers – but over the summer we were able to get on the training ground, do all the work they wanted to do with us and get ready for the season ahead.
“We haven’t had a clean sheet in a couple of weeks so we are looking to get back to that, it’s something we have to focus on.
“Hibs have started well so it’s going to be a difficult game but one we are looking forward to.”