Hibs boss Lee Johnson hails Martin Boyle 'Roy of the Rovers' impact in derby draw with Hearts
Hibs manager Lee Johnson hailed the impact of ‘jack-in-the-box’ Martin Boyle as the returning forward climbed off the bench to net a stoppage-time equaliser and a point against Hearts in the first Edinburgh derby of the campaign.
The Australian internationalist came on for Josh Campbell shortly after the hour mark and showed flashes of his talent but was understandably rusty – until he played a one-two with Élie Youan, tucked the ball past Craig Gordon and sent three-quarters of Easter Road into ecstasy.
Johnson admitted there was relief at the late leveller but conceded his side needed to improve.
"There are a lot of emotions bundled up in those moments: frustration, a bit of anger, all of a sudden you score a goal and bang; everything changes and everything lifts.
"We know we’re not the finished article. I was a little bit disappointed in our quality in terms of that ability to have fire in the belly and ice in the head.
"We had the fire in the belly but ice in the head maybe not so much.
"Hearts were probably the better side in that core spell when they had the lead in the second half but we work on the tactical scenarios a lot so the boys knew what was coming, they knew we were going to throw caution to the wind.
And the Easter Road boss was delighted with Boyle’s impact, who was a surprise inclusion in the matchday squad.
"It's Roy of the Rovers stuff isn't it? If you wrote a comic strip and he was the star of the show, I'm not sure you could write it better than that,” he smiled.
"He's such a big player. We spent a lot of money on him and when you do that, you need something back.
"He's done that today and he's just such a good character. It's not just the value he'll add on the pitch, it's what he adds off it as well.
"He's like a jack-in-the-box, always bouncing around and he's got that nice character to bring the best out of other people.
"You wouldn't say he's a captain-type leader but he makes people feel comfortable and on a human level that's really important, to keep bringing guys like that into the squad."