'The boss begged me to stay on' - Hibs goal hero played through pain

Youan celebrates his late equaliser.Youan celebrates his late equaliser.
Youan celebrates his late equaliser.
Youan netted a double despite playing on one leg - and earned Monty's thanks

Double goal hero Elie Youan has revealed how he played through a painful knock to help Hibs pinch a point from their final pre-shutdown fixture. And the French winger said head coach Nick Montgomery, struggling with a serious personnel crisis for Tuesday’s 2-2 home draw with Motherwell, simply wasn’t giving him the option of coming off injured.

Youan was limping heavily after a thumping challenge in the first half and, in different circumstances, might have been substituted. But he was persuaded to stay on, opened the scoring with a brilliant solo goal almost immediately – and was still in the trenches to bag an injury-time equaliser on an afternoon of high drama at Easter Road.

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Asked if he’d been hurt in the tackle, Youan said: "Oh yeah, so bad, so bad. Actually, I'm struggling right now. I got kicked in the first half, just before the goal.

“But the gaffer told me: “We need you; you have to stay on the pitch.’ I was saying it is sore - but he said I need to stay on the pitch. Finally I scored so it was just mental, I think, all in the mind. I was just thinking about helping the team, just one game more before going on holiday.

"The spirit was top in this game. Everybody stuck together on the pitch, no matter what. The break comes at a good time. We were missing some players against Motherwell - but we were really together. We wanted to show that the team is 22 players.

“We are going to the holidays with one strong point. We are just looking forward to the next part of the season to improve and to show we can compete for the top of the league.”

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Pleased with his own return to the starting XI, but far from satisfied with a point from a game that Hibs had dominated for long spells, Youan agrees with Montgomery’s assertion that the only thing missing from his game is consistency, admitting: "He's right. It's a big factor to play at the highest level. It's my next step and I'm a hard worker so I am not worried about it. I know my strengths. I try to give the best version of myself.

"I feel good, but the result is frustrating. I think we deserved more, but for starting the new year it is a good strong point. I'm not too far away, but I think I'm still improving. I'm on the right road. The gaffer helps me every day to play my best football.”

Montgomery praised Youan for playing on despite taking a “real bad knock” that left the Hibs bench incensed, saying: “We all know Elie is a special player on his day. He can create stuff out of nothing. He’s been trying to find consistency and I thought he looked dangerous every time he got the ball.

“He took a real bad knock in the first half, through the back of him. He’s limping around after. But the team needed him, and he stepped up - like he did away to Hearts when I first came in.

“He just needs to find that consistency. He was always looking a threat against Motherwell. We’re looking for a big second half to the season from Elie.”

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