Hibs striker Oli Shaw has claimed flying winger Martin Boyle can supply the ammunition needed to shoot down Molde in Thursday night’s Europa League tie.
The Easter Road side flew out from Edinburgh at lunchtime today to begin preparing for the second leg of the third qualifying round in Norway, having been held to a 0-0 draw at home last week, a result which leaves the tie very much in the balance.
A play-off spot against most probably Dinamo Minsk following their shock 4-0 victory over Zenit St Petersburg awaits the winners and Lennon and his players are confident they can clinch that prize.
Boyle, who returned to a wide role against St Johnstone at the weekend having played through the middle in recent games, supplied the cross which led to Shaw grabbing an equaliser for Hibs at McDiarmid Park, his form so far this season described by boss Lennon as “a revelation.”
And the 20-year-old, who is vying with Flo Kamberi and Jamie Maclaren for a starting place in the Aker Stadium, firmly believes the pace a trickery of Boyle can be the key to Hibs finding that vital away goal to turn up the heat on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s players.
Agreeing that as the home side Molde may be more adventurous, he said: “We have pace to burn out wide and all the boys are confident having seen the first game that we can go and get the result.
“We said at half-time on Sunday to get the ball out to Martin as he was giving the full-back problems while I was told to get into the six yard box and it paid off.”
Lennon took the opportunity to rest skipper David Gray and midfield enforcer Marvin Bartley in Perth, while Kamberi – who has been carrying a knee injury – replaced Maclaren with 30 minutes to go, the Australian hitman having made his first start since his return to Easter Road.
And he believes his squad will go into Thursday’s match in better shape, with Hungarian goalkeeper Adam Bogdan having got over the hip injury which kept him out of Hibs’ last two matches and new signing Emerson Hyndman enjoying an hour of the draw with Saints.
Lennon said: “Molde are a good side, good rotation, good possession and it’s a plastic pitch so it’s a little bit difficult for us as it always is away from home in Europe.
“But we can certainly score goals. It’s fantastic for the players, fantastic for the club. I maybe didn’t envisage us going this far but we are still in the tie, it’s in the balance and there’s no reason why we cannot go there and win.”
Dutch referee Dennis Higler will be in charge on Thursday night, the second time he’s been involved in a game involving a Scottish side in this season’s Europa League having been the man the middle as Rangers drew 1-1 with Osijek of Croatia at Ibrox in the previous round.