Jake Doyle-Hayes speaks on Hibs Covid-19 outbreak as he eyes semi-final bounceback
Hibs midfielder Jake Doyle-Hayes believes it is only a matter of time before the Easter Road side turns their form around – and believes the upcoming Premier Sports Cup semi-final would be the ideal time to do so.
The Irishman was disappointed that the Covid-19 outbreak at the club forced the postponement of the matches against Ross County and Livingston, but naturally understood the severity of the situation necessitated the actions taken.
“I was really looking forward to the Ross County game because in the second half of the Celtic game I thought we actually improved and we started to get back to the way we had been playing,” he told the Down the Slope podcast.
"Going into that Ross County game I was excited and looking forward to picking up where we left off but then all this happened.”
The international break means that Hibs are next in action when they take on Rangers at Hampden in the last four of the League Cup, and Doyle-Hayes insists the squad is desperate to bring an end to their losing streak, admitting that he knows exactly how the supporters are feeling.
"I know the fans are frustrated. I’m a Liverpool fan and if Liverpool get beat then I’m annoyed. We’re not slacking in training, we’re training the same way as we have done all season, and we need to keep that going,” he continued.
"We need to get back to the way we were playing. We can’t blame injuries because that’s always going to happen. Getting boys like Kyle Magennis back will make a difference but we just need to get our heads down, keep working hard and doing what we're doing, and I think the results will come.
"We don’t have to change too much in terms of preparation and training. If we keep believing in the way we play then I think we'll get our form back.”
Such a long stretch without a competitive game means even more desire within the group to reach another cup final – something that not every player gets to experience.
"Everyone in the team is really looking forward to the semi-final but then if you weren’t looking forward to that game I’d say you shouldn’t be playing the game. We'll definitely try to bounce back. There’s no excuses, we’ve got a couple of weeks training before the game and we'll be ready to go,” Doyle-Hayes said.
"We did have a very good start to the season. The Rangers game was disappointing because up until the red card we were doing quite well. We’ve had a bad couple of results since then but it doesn’t make us a poor team; we’re still the same players and I think the quality throughout the group is there for everyone to see.
"There’s a great mentality in the squad. No one’s going to lie down and take it. We’re definitely going to bounce right back.
"The semi-final is something to look forward to. The opportunity to get to a cup final doesn’t come around all that often and we’ll be up for that. Hopefully we can get back to the way we were playing at the start of the season.”