Eoin Doyle: Gary Deegan’s return crucial for Hibs

Deegan: Return crucial for Eater Road side. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Deegan: Return crucial for Eater Road side. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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EOIN DOYLE insists Hibs will be a much-improved team when midfield leader Gary Deegan gets back to full fitness.

Former Coventry City player Deegan is in contention for a starting spot against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park this weekend after making his return from a lengthy lay-off with a broken jaw when he came on as a sub in last Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at home to Motherwell.

And hitman Doyle, pictured, admits Hibs have missed the presence of their powerhouse midfielder and believes that having his fellow Irishman back in the team will force everyone to be on top of their game.

Doyle said: “Gary is a big player for us, he is very strong in midfield and he is very demanding.

“He demands the very best from the team so he is a great player to have in your side.

“I’m really looking forward to him being back in the side and really getting stuck in.

“He’s got a great awareness about him and a hunger and expects exactly the same from everyone else around him – that can only be good for Hibs.”

Doyle insisted that his side go into this weekend’s clash with Killie full of confidence, despite last weekend’s defeat.

Doyle, who scored twice at Easter Road only to see his side lose 3-2 to Motherwell, added: “We are feeling very positive going into the game on Sunday.

“Obviously we know that we threw away a really good chance [last weekend] but the league is very tight this season and fortunately a few other results went in our favour that day.

“A couple of good results will have us right back up there and that is what we are focusing on now.

“Hopefully the next couple of games will have us right back on track. We know that we are well capable.”