Jake Doyle-Hayes on his Hibs start: 'I definitely need to bring that into my game'

Jake Doyle-Hayes’ only experience of playing against Livingston also served up his only goal in Scottish football.

By Moira Gordon
Saturday, 28th August 2021, 7:00 am

Just a couple of weeks after his arrival in the Premiership, his effort gave St Mirren victory over the team that ultimately pipped them for a top six place last season. But this term, as Hibs host David Martindale’s West Lothian side at Easter Road today, the Irish midfielder is aiming higher, and hoping he can aid that cause with a bigger tally of goals.

“Yeah, that was my only goal last year and it was a deflection goal as well! I definitely need to bring that into my game so hopefully I can nick another one,” said the 22 year-old former Aston Villa youngster, who has settled in easily since joining in the summer.

Making his competitive debut in Hibs’ European tie against Santa Coloma, he has asserted himself well and has already proved what an asset he could be as Jack Ross’ men look to build on last season.

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Hibs midfielder Jake Doyle-Hayes has settled in well and now wants to improve on hs one-goal tally from last season. Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group

There have been other newcomers and, provided the Hibs boss gets his way, there are still another couple to clock in, but while those fresh faces are intended to offer the side new impetus and hunger, as well as added competition, the fact that an established first-team regular like Martin Boyle has recently agreed a contract extension and moves are afoot to see Kevin Nisbet put pen to paper on his new deal, signals the serious intent already within the club.

“One hundred percent. There is quality all over the team and getting those boys tied down will be massive for us.

“They are unbelievable players and [keeping them] will help the team.

“I knew the quality when I came in and I knew it would be hard to get into the team because there is a lot of competition for places. Even in training it’s tough.

“You know you need to keep pushing because there’s a guy behind you pushing too. You have to be at the top of your game to stay in the team so it’s a positive that there are people there trying to take your shirt off you.

“As a whole squad, we’ve started the season quite well. We just need to keep building on that.”

By the time Doyle-Hayes debuted in Scotland last year, Hibs were already well-established near the top of the table and he says that bright start - with just one league loss in their opening eight games - helped them build up a head of steam that made it difficult for virtually every team they came up against.

Three games into this league campaign, they sit top of the standings on goal difference, and are looking to prolong another relatively-blemish-free introduction.

“Any team wants to get off to a flying start and, so far, we’ve done that. Hopefully we can pick up another three points [against Livingston]. That would be a really good start.

“But whatever we have done is past now, we just need to focus on the next game and put that behind us. We need to finish as high as we can and knowing the quality of the group we have and the drive everyone has I believe we can push high up the table and stay up there.”

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