Hibs’ Marc McNulty surprised by Scotland call – but his team-mates weren’t

Marc McNulty has scored six goals for Hibs since joining on loan from Reading
Marc McNulty has scored six goals for Hibs since joining on loan from Reading
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Martin Boyle has insisted Marc McNulty’s first Scotland call-up hasn’t surprised anyone at Easter Road given the goals the on-loan striker has scored for Hibs.

McNulty has been named in Alex McLeish’s squad for the Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Kazakhstan and San Marino, rich reward, claimed Boyle, for helping the Capital side move into the top six in the Premiership. Scotland coach McLeish said: “We are short in that department. Marc is a good hold-up player, different from Oli McBurnie and Oli Burke, so that’s given us a little bit of versatility.”

While six-goal McNulty is only signed until the end of the season, Boyle hopes Hibs can strike a deal with the 26-year-old’s parent club Reading for his move to be made permanent in the summer because he believes the pair could strike up a great partnership.

Australian internationalist Boyle, who is recovering from a knee operation which has ruled him out for the rest of the season, said: “Marc has done brilliantly and I’m delighted for him. He found out (about the call-up) yesterday when he came off the training ground and he is buzzing. He was as surprised as anyone but we all said to him ‘it’s no surprise, you are flying, mate’. I just hope he gets his chance over there and, in the meantime, continues to do the business for Hibs.

“He has come here to get game time. He’s done that and he’s banging in the goals. That goes to show what can happen. You have seen the players who have been given that chance, or moved on from here – John McGinn is flying, for example – and it proves that Hibs is a platform.

“You will be given a chance – you just need to take your opportunity. Marc is someone I’d love to play alongside. He always seems to be in the box and banging in the goals. His movement is unbelievable. You look at the goal he scored against St Johnstone and it’s all about that intelligence. He could help me and I think I could help him.”

Boyle, however, admitted McNulty’s goals for Hibs and now international recognition could make it all the harder for Hibs to keep a player who has fallen out of favour at Reading despite the English Championship outfit having paid £1 million to sign him last summer.

He said: “Hopefully the clubs can speak if they are interested in keeping him longer. He has come up here and helped us along the way. His family are in Edinburgh – he asks for about 400 tickets for every game! So I’m sure they will be trying to convince him. They are always here supporting him and that will be part of the reason he was so keen to come up here in the first place.”