Pat Fenlon backs Eoin Doyle to keep finding net

James McPake congratulates Eoin Doyle on his goal. Picture: Jane Barlow
James McPake congratulates Eoin Doyle on his goal. Picture: Jane Barlow
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PAT Fenlon today backed Eoin Doyle to get among the goals after watching the striker claim his first of the season to secure a win over St Johnstone which propelled Hibs into second place in the SPL table.

Doyle’s 25 goals for Sligo Rovers last season helped persuade Fenlon to make the 24-year-old his first signing after becoming boss at Easter Road.

The flame-haired hitman, however, was not able to replicate that prolific rate during his first few months in Edinburgh.

And in the past couple of weeks he’s had to live in the shadow of team-mate Leigh Griffiths who grabbed the headlines with his derby-day equaliser and then a double to down St Mirren. But Doyle stepped into the spotlight as Hibs survived a dismal first-half display, knocking home Griffiths’ pass at the second time of asking just six minutes after Paul Hanlon’s header had given the Capital outfit a half-time lead. The arrival of Finnish veteran Shefki Kuqi has upped the competition for places in Hibs’ frontline but Fenlon reckons Doyle is ready to meet the challenge. He said: “Eoin can score goals, I saw him to that in Ireland.

“He’s an unselfish player, he works very hard for the team and his movement in general is very good.

“In fact, the movement of both Eoin and Leigh makes it very difficult for centre-halves to mark them because they are both livewires, they never stand still.

“Eoin might have been a bit lightweight when we brought him in, but he’s built himself up by spending a lot of time in the gym, getting himself into the condition we thought he needed. He works tirelessly every day, whether on his finishing or in the gym. He’s a great kid and hopefully his goal will kick his confidence on.”

Having made it back-to-back wins, Fenlon will take his side to face Queen of the South at Palmerston Park in tomorrow night’s Scottish Communities League Cup second-round tie, seeking a third successive victory.

The manager admits he’ll have to balance the need of certain players to receive game time against a desire to progress in the competition.

He said: “I think we will change a few but we won’t be making wholesale changes.

We have a bit of momentum and we want to win again.

“We’ll have a look at Queen of the South and see what we think is our best team. We know some players need games but, again, it’s about winning so we won’t be making a raft of changes.”