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.
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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."

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?

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"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.

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

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."

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