Hibs to explore potential emergency transfer as Lee Johnson makes admission over Martin Boyle
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The home side atoned for the first-leg humbling in Andorra with a dominant 6-1 victory under the lights at Easter Road as Martin Boyle marked his return to the team with a double.
Josh Campbell added two of his own along with Christian Doidge and Elie Youan, though the shine was taken off the night somewhat with injuries to both the first and second-choice goalkeepers.
Last season’s club captain David Marshall was forced out in the warm-up, while his replacement Jojo Wollacott lasted just 19 minutes before feeling pain in his thigh when taking a goal kick.
Max Boruc came on for his debut and equipped himself well just 24 hours after helping the Hibs B team make the second round of the Challenge Cup with a penalty shoot-out win over Formartine United. The summer signing, and younger cousin of former Celtic keeper Artur, equipped himself well, but with Murray Johnson spending the season on loan at Queen of the South, Hibs are potentially lacking depth when they take on St Mirren at Easter Road on Sunday.
“David Marshall had a hamstring issue and we decided it wasn’t worth the risk. Jojo has managed to damage his thigh when he took a goal kick,” said the Hibs boss.
“Then Max Boruc has come on after playing 90 minutes last night and helping the young lads through in that competition as well.
“I don’t know if David will be OK for Sunday. We will have to assess the options. We have young Murray Johnson out on loan. We have Max and there’s the potential to maybe sign an emergency on loan if the rules are the same as England. I have to check that.”
Johnson admitted playing Boyle from the starting XI was a case of “needs must” following defeat in the first leg. The flying winger has been out for over nine months with a knee injury and his manager was a little apprehensive over the decision to bring him back this quickly, but ultimately the 30-year-old passed all the relevant medical checks in order to play.
"I believe in him and I believed he would make an impact,” he said. “I see him every day. I’ve been a bit frustrated and I went against medical guidance last weekend to play him at Blackpool with this game in mind.
“I had to question myself a little bit whether it was desperation to put him in but it was more about the balance of the team and what we need and require to be as elite as we were tonight.
“It was needs must in one sense but he was also ready and passed all the physical markers on Tuesday.
“He has worked extremely hard and has deserved the minutes. He’s been champing at the bit to get on earlier. We are very proud of him for how hard he’s worked. He’ll be happy tonight and will sleep well I’m sure.”