Hibs needed reinforcements out wide before Martin Boyle departure, says Shaun Maloney

His departure left Hibs short in attack and blunted up front – but Easter Road boss Shaun Maloney has stated that the side needed reinforcements in the wide areas before Martin Boyle made a life-changing move to Saudi Arabia.

Thursday, 7th April 2022, 10:30 pm

The 39-year-old told the Evening News that he had earmarked areas requiring reinforcements when he was analysing the squad before his arrival – but the sale of the side’s starman to Al-Faisaly for around £3 million hampered Hibs further.

Claiming that the squad lacked competition in certain areas prior to his arrival, Maloney said: "It's something I saw when I was analysing the squad. Particularly defensively, we were very short on numbers.

"In the wide attacking areas as well, which is where the loss of Martin has perhaps hit us even more, but even before he went I think we still needed more in those positions.

Shaun Maloney speaks to Martin Boyle during the 1-0 victory over Aberdeen in December

"We're focused on each game as it comes but at the same time we still have to look at what we're trying to achieve with the squad next year.

"The limitations we've had in the past few months, where I think we've been good at times in getting to the final third but haven't been able to create enough, the work to solve those problems has to be happening on a daily basis for next season."

For now, he is happy with his options on the wings, although the loss of Demi Mitchell to injury has been a sore point. Mainly though, he is glad to have competition and strong options in as many positions as possible.

"I can see Harry Clarke and Chris Cadden playing either side, like they did against Dundee United, but also I don't mind the competition. I think that makes it really healthy for the squad,” he explained.

"We've also got Josh Doig, and Lewis Stevenson has played in so many positions and played well.

“The more competition we have in each position the better, I feel. It gives me a decision to make on matchday and for large parts of the season we haven't had those decisions to make.”

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