Chris Cadden: Hard to replace Martin Boyle but Hibs players have to fill void

Chris Cadden has urged his Hibs team-mates to step up and fill the gap left by Martin Boyle’s enforced absence for the remainder of the season.

The 29-year-old has been ruled out of action for the foreseeable after undergoing surgery on a rupture anterior cruciate ligament after sustaining an injury in the 3-0 victory over St Mirren in late October, but with the Easter Road side losing three consecutive games without the talismanic attacker, Cadden has stressed the importance of those who are fit stepping up.

“If any team loses a player like Martin you’re going to miss him but it’s up to the rest of us to fill the gap. It’s going to be hard; Boyley is a top, top player, and his numbers of goals and the impact he has on the game is something that any team would miss if he’s not there,” Cadden said, speaking ahead of Saturday’s friendly match against Middlesbrough.

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Whether playing as a right-back or right-wingback, Cadden has enjoyed the chance to link up with Boyle on the right side but also reckons the wideman doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his work off the ball. The former Dundee and Montrose man will be an obvious big miss in an attacking sense for Hibs but also in his all-round game, according to his colleague.

“When I heard he was coming back I was absolutely buzzing to get that partnership again on the right side. I love playing with him. He works really hard off the ball as well, and I think that’s something he doesn’t get enough credit for. His running stats are through the roof. He’s really good to play with and he’s one who you can just give him the ball and let him go and do his stuff.”

Like many of the first-team squad, Cadden had been in touch with Boyle in the wake of his Qatar 2022 heartache prior to the bombshell discovery when the 19-cap Socceroos attacker had undergone further scans in Qatar.

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“I gave him a text and wished him all the best and said I hoped he was alright. We were all buzzing to watch him play and with France being the first game we were talking about who he would be playing against. I know how buzzing he was for it and we’re all just gutted for him. I think he had a little bit of doubt when he got the injury but he was always positive and he wanted to just get through any pain he had. It must be really sore for him, because I know how desperate he was to play. He had little bits of doubts but he seemed more positive.”

Boyle has since taken up a self-appointed role as ‘vibe manager’ for the Socceroos but Cadden believes the winger will already be targeting an appearance at the 2026 competition, after coming back from previous long-term injuries.

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Martin Boyle will be a big miss for Hibs - but the remaining players have to step up, according to Chris Cadden

“One hundred per cent he’ll be looking at playing at the next World Cup now. He’ll bounce back from this, no problem. He’ll come back, he’ll do his rehab, and he’ll get back for Hibs, first and foremost, and that’s how he gets into the international team. I’ve got no doubts in my mind that Boyley will be fine,” Cadden added.

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Cadden and Boyle celebrate the latter's goal in the 2-0 victory over Ross County in October