Hibs give team news v Kilmarnock and predicted XI detailed
Coach knows he must look after enthusiastic talisman
Martin Boyle is “raring to go” and pushing hard to reclaim a Hibs starting place – after being rested for his own good on the advice of the club’s sports science specialists.
And Easter Road boss Nick Montgomery admits he’ll need to take special care of a unique talent whose enthusiasm for the game – and love of the club – means he never thinks of easing up.
Boyle was restricted to a place on the bench for the disappointing midweek draw against St Mirren in Paisley after limping out of the Viaplay Cup semi-final loss to Aberdeen last weekend.
Montgomery, aware that the Socceroos star will be jetting off to Melbourne and then Kuwait on international duty immediately after tomorrow’s home clash with Kilmarnock, believes that was the smart decision.
But the Hibs gaffer suggested he could unleash Boyle from the off against Killie, as the home side look to snap a historic seven-game winless run.
“Martin Boyle is back,” said Montgomery, the Yorkshireman adding: “Obviously he came off against Aberdeen and we felt it was the right decision to rest him in midweek.
“He’s had a lot of football, more football than anyone in the squad, and the way he plays football is at a hundred miles an hour. There’s only one gear for Martin Boyle and that’s full speed.
“So we felt it was right to rest him on Wednesday night. but he’s recovered really well from the Aberdeen game – and he’s raring to go tomorrow, so he’ll come back into contention for a start.
“He loves football, loves being out there with the boys, loves scoring goals, creating goals. And we know his asset is his pace, he’s such a super-quick player.
“We also know he loves this club. Every time he puts that shirt on, he wants to win the game. He’s a real winner.
“But yeah, whether it’s Martin Boyle or anyone else, we have to manage the players – and ensure we make the right decisions.
“When you have a lot of games and quick turnarounds, that’s when decisions have to be made by myself and the medical staff. Either we take risks or we don’t.
“We thought it was the right decision to rest him. But he’s raring to go for this game before the international break.
“Adam Le Fondre is going to be out for a couple of weeks, probably a bit longer than we expected.”