Lee Johnson hints at more first-team involvement for Hibs kids after Boro showing
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The 18-year-old played the second 45 minutes of the 2-0 friendly defeat by Middlesbrough, replacing Chris Cadden at the interval, and put in an assured performance on the right of a back four. Megwa has had a rapid rise since joining Hibs from Brooke House Academy last summer, becoming a mainstay of the under-18s in their title-winning season and impressing during the UEFA Youth League campaign and with Lewis Miller still sidelined through injury, he stands a chance of further involvement.
Johnson used 22 players in the mid-season fixture and as well as Megwa gave game time to his under-19 colleagues goalkeeper Murray Johnson, defender Oscar MacIntyre, and midfielder Murray Aiken.
"This was a game to have a look at the young players and it becomes a learning game in terms of how the academy players adapt. I thought Kanayo did well – Lewis Miller has been out a long time so Chris Cadden has had to play every game really, and hasn’t had any competition, so Kanayo’s performance was good to see,” the Hibs boss explained.
Johnson is keen to integrate more youngsters into the Easter Road first-team squad and has also included Jacob Blaney, Reuben McAllister, and Jacob MacIntyre in his matchday groups since arriving in May although the latter two are yet to make the bench.
“Murray Johnson did extremely well too. He’s signed a new deal with us, which we’re delighted with. We think he’s a top goalkeeper in the making and already a top goalkeeper at his age. He’s just been away with Scotland as well and got man of the match in one of the games. We’ve also got Oscar MacIntyre; ever-enthused, loves Hibs to bits, and I thought he showed quality in there as well.
"Murray Aiken also performed extremely well. Even though he only got ten minutes, he’s still around the feeling, still around the vibe and against Kilmarnock we took Reuben with us to take part in the pre-match warm-up and be in and around it too. It’s nice to bed these guys in – this is what we’ve got to try to build.”