Martin Boyle '˜can force Scotland call if he maintains Hibs form'

Martin Boyle can force his way into the Scotland set-up if he maintains his form for Hibs, according to a former national team assistant boss.

Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 11:26 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 11:26 am
Martin Boyle has come on leaps and bounds under Neil Lennon. Picture: SNS Group

Peter Houston, who faced Boyle as manager of Falkirk, believes Alex McLeish will have to consider the 25-year-old, who he says has been “sensational” over the last season and a half.

Easter Road boss Neil Lennon revealed last week that Scotland had enquired about Boyle before the friendly matches against Peru and Mexico, but an injury ruled him out of contention.

Speaking to the BBC, Houston said: “Martin one of the quickest players in Scotland. Alex is always looking for players to enhance his squad.

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“He’s a player that, if he keeps producing the form he’s doing, Alex has to look at him.”

Boyle is also eligible for Australia, through his Sydney-born father, and held preliminary discussions with Graham Arnold when the Socceroos head coach visited East Mains to meet with Jamie Maclaren and Mark Milligan earlier this month.

The versatile Boyle, who has been deployed at right-wing back, on the right wing, up front or as an attacking midfielder, has come on leaps and bounds since turning his loan move from Dundee permanent in June 2015.

And Houston, who worked alongside Lennon at Celtic, believes his former colleague has helped Boyle, who has scored 26 goals in 147 appearances in green and white, to flourish.

Houston - recently appointed No.2 at Scottish Championship side Morton - added: “It got to the stage where he was a bit-part player under Alan Stubbs.

“Martin has given Neil confidence in him because when he’s given him the opportunity to do the business, he has worked very, very hard.

“Anybody who has electric pace like he does, gets in behind defences - he’s always going to create and score goals. 
“He’s taken the opportunity - you have to make sure you’re the guy who stays in the side when you’re given an opportunity as a bit-part player.”