Aussie connection to the fore as Hibs welcome Dundee in must-win game

Socceroos back in the old groove as season reaches crucial stretch
Martin Boyle is back to his best for Hibs.Martin Boyle is back to his best for Hibs.
Martin Boyle is back to his best for Hibs.

If Hibs are to grab their first league win since December 9 when Dundee come calling this afternoon, you could probably lay short odds on one thing. Martin Boyle is likely to be involved.

And that’s because, ironically, he’s looked more of a threat since being allowed to step away from the role of emergency striker – and returned to his favourite position on the right wing. Whatever Hibs are doing well at the moment, and it’s an admittedly short list, Boyle is usually on the scene.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The return of Socceroos pair Boyle and Lewis Miller from an eventful Asian Cup tournament also sees a bit of familiarity and consistency restored to a starting XI trying to integrate half a dozen January signings. That can’t be a bad thing.

Miller is definitely enjoying getting closer to a team-mate who was pushed further forward as Hibs struggled for striker options, the right back saying: "I love playing on Boyler's side. I don't have to attack too much, I can just sit back and let him do everything!

"He's been at right wing pretty much his whole career. He loves it out there and he took on the role of being the striker for a period of time. I think he's pretty happy he's back out on the wing.

"Every time he gets the ball he gets surrounded by players. They know the threat he is, and he can create an attacking action at any given point. That frees me up to overlap or run underneath him inside. It's great to have that connection together on the right side.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Hibs struggled for a regular right back during Miller’s absence, with youngsters Kanayo Megwa and Rory Whittaker sharing duties. But the return to fitness of Chris Cadden, who played in a Reserve League fixture this week, is likely to give Nick Montgomery a decision to make sooner, rather than later.

Miller insisted: "I think it's good for both of us. Chris was unbelievable when he was playing there (right back) last season. He was playing last season and was very unfortunate with the injury he got against Hearts (in the last game of the season). 

"He was one of the senior players and he guided me and helped me out when I wasn't playing as much. I'm very glad that he's back and he gives us more strength as a squad. He adds that competition and it's going to make both of us thrive."

Miller understands the importance of today’s home match, with Dundee currently sitting in sixth spot – one place and five points clear of Hibs. With the split only eight games away, every point is precious.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The 23-year-old said: "We know what we have to do. We can't get too hung up about placings at the moment, we just have to go out there every week and post win, win, win. We haven't had many wins recently, so the main goal is to go out there and get the W."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.