Jake Doyle-Hayes insists: Me and Hibs midfield colleague Joe Newell can play together

Hibs midfielder Jake Doyle-Hayes insists there is no problem with him and Joe Newell playing together in the middle of the park – despite claims that the pair are too similar to combine effectively.

The duo lined up together against Rangers last weekend and performed well in the engine room as the Easter Road side struck late through Josh Campbell to earn a point.

Doyle-Hayes and Newell previously played together in the 1-0 Premier Sports Cup defeat by Falkirk which renewed calls from supporters to keep the duo apart. But they were undeniably impressive as a unit and individually against the Light Blues, and Doyle-Hayes reckons increased competition for places and different systems means a raft of combinations will be used by manager Lee Johnson.

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"There's a lot of competition for places and I'm sure the manager has his reasons why he plays this sort of system.

"You just need to put your trust in him – whatever team he picks he's going out to win the game.

"All of us can play together whatever system the manager wants us to play."

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Johnson was a midfielder himself during his playing days and still gets involved in training at Hibs’ Ormiston base. How useful has that been for Doyle-Hayes and the other midfielders?

"He's got a really good knowledge of the role. He speaks to the midfielders but he obviously speaks to everyone and he has a great knowledge all over the pitch.

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Joe Newell, left, and Jake Doyle-Hayes in action for Hibs against Hearts last season

"He joins in training sometimes so you're watching him to see what he's doing – he's still got a bit about him."

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When Doyle-Hayes arrived from St Mirren in the summer of 2021 there was some debate about his strongest position – was he a box-to-box midfielder, or more of a number six?

He has fulfilled a handful of different roles this season so far, playing more advanced but also sitting deeper.

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"We're playing different formations, so the manager has played me in a couple of different positions in midfield, but we have players in all different positions so it depends where the manager puts us in different formations,” he explained.

"I've had a chance to play higher up, I've played deeper like against Rangers. Wherever he puts me, I'm happy to go out and do a job."