MARTIN Boyle knew Grant Holt would send Hibs on their way to a welcome win at the weekend after the striker ‘growled’ at him before converting a second-half spot-kick.
The 3-1 success away to Dunfermline was the Easter Road side’s first in six matches and allowed them to stretch their advantage at the top of the Championship to three points.
Boyle had only just come on as a second-half substitute when Neil Lennon’s men were awarded a penalty for Lee Ashcroft’s clumsy last-man foul on Andrew Shinnie.
When Holt grabbed the ball, Boyle gave the experienced former Nottingham Forest, Norwich City and Wigan Athletic marksman a few words of encouragement.
And the 35-year-old’s reaction convinced Boyle he would make no mistake from the spot to give Hibs a crucial 2-1 lead.
He said: “Grant has made a good knack of that in his career. He’s always going to be confident.
“I approached him and said ‘good luck with the penalty’ and he just growled in my face, he was so concentrated!
“He’s made a career out of scoring goals and hopefully he can kick on now and get a few in the next few games.”
Hibs clinched the three points with Brian Graham’s injury-time strike to win for the first time since September 10.
And Boyle believes the strong competition for places was at the heart of Saturday’s revival.
Eight-goal top scorer Jason Cummings was left on the bench after failing to net in his last four outings, whilst Marvin Bartley was also left out after the club won an appeal to overturn his red card against Raith Rovers.
Boyle himself has started in just two of his last five appearances.
He added to Hibs TV: “I’m hungry to get back in this team. I was delighted to come on and play a part, just like Brian [Graham] when he came on and got his goal.
“Everyone’s fighting for places. It was a strong bench, as you saw with Jason on the bench, he’s our top goal-scorer.”
Meanwhile, Hibs – who last night hosted the premiere of their Scottish Cup final DVD, ‘Time For Heroes’, at a cinema in Leith – are sweating over the fitness of James Keatings following the weekend.
The former Hearts striker was sent for a scan on the knee he damaged at East End Park amidst fears he may have suffered an injury that will keep him sidelined for a number of weeks.