BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
MARTIN BOYLE confesses that even HE was surprised to see his name on the Hibs team-sheet ahead of Jason Cummings.
Now the speedy striker is determined to force the capital club’s top-scorer to get used to life on the bench.
With James Keatings sidelined for six weeks after suffering a knee injury at Dunfermline nine days ago, it was widely expected that Cummings would get the call to line up alongside Grant Holt against St Mirren.
The former Montrose and Dundee flyer, making just his second league start of the season, opened the scoring with a classy chip and inspired a comfortable 2-0 triumph with his dribbling, movement and tireless work ethic.
He also linked up superbly with Holt, who scored the second goal of the game and missed a second-half penalty.
Clutching his man-of-the-match champagne as he spoke to the assembled press after the win, Boyle revealed that he was as startled as anyone to have been selected ahead of eight-goal Cummings.
He smiled: “To be honest I was surprised he wasn’t playing as well! Jason is the top scorer and that shows good faith in me – hopefully I’ve repaid that by stepping up. I’m happy as long as I am in the team.
“I thought I linked up well with [Grant] Holty and I am just happy to be in the team. I’m delighted with the way I played and I hope I can keep hold of that shirt.
“It’s obviously been a bit frustrating not starting, but I still enjoy coming to work every day. The boys are brilliant here and I’m just the type of boy who knuckles down and works hard.
“If I given my chance, I feel it’s down to me to take it.
“James Keatings’ injury has been my gain, but I need to keep producing performances like Saturday. It shows how good the squad is when we have players like Jason on the bench.
“For me, being such a little rapid guy, it’s handy to play with Holty for his flick-ons. We’ve been working hard all week and I thought we linked up well. He’s an experienced boy and he’s always in your ear and, hopefully, that partnership will continue.”