PAT FENLON insists he’ll have no qualms about including Eoin Doyle in his side for the remainder of the season,
despite the Irish striker turning down the offer of a new deal at Hibs in favour of agreeing a pre-contract with Chesterfield.
The 25-year-old became Fenlon’s first signing when he joined in the January transfer window of 2012 and went on to establish himself as a first-pick as Hibs enjoyed a bright start to the current season.
Since the turn of the year, however, Doyle has become a more peripheral figure, flitting in and out of the starting line-up as Hibs slumped towards the bottom six.
Fenlon is adamant, though, that his countryman still has a part to play in the run-in to a season, which, although likely to be played out in the bottom six, could yet bring Scottish Cup glory.
“He has a agreed a contract (with Chesterfield),” said the manager, confirming the news that Doyle will be leaving. “We offered Eoin a contract five or six weeks ago and he turned it down.
“That’s the decision he has made and we just have to get on with it, but he’s very honest when he gets on the pitch and works very hard for the team so I don’t expect anything different from him. His effort and attitude is first class, so I have no worries about that.”
Hibs travel to Celtic Park tomorrow requiring an unlikely three-pronged sequence of results if they are to make the top six. However, Fenlon is hoping his players aren’t undermined by a sense of frustration at the unravelling of their league campaign as they bid to notch the win they need against a Celtic side who could tie up the title if results go their way.
“Personally there is a frustration, but we don’t want the players to be frustrated,” he said. “We want them to go and enjoy it. It is a fantastic stadium and a fantastic occasion, so we have to embrace it.
“We know it is going to be very difficult, but we have to make sure we approach it in the right manner because Celtic have a lot to play for as well.
“We have to make sure we start positively and sprightly. We have to make sure we stand up and be counted early in the game. That is really important.
“We need to try to take the game to Celtic at times and be solid at other times. But we have to make sure we stay in the game for a long period and then obviously there maybe comes a time when we have to throw the kitchen sink at them.
“We have to make sure that if things go for us elsewhere, that we do our own business right.”