Paul Heckingbottom glad Martin Boyle’s injury came before transfer window shut

The winger has a knee problem.

By Press Association Published: 1 August 2019 - 5.13pm

Paul Heckingbottom admits Hibernian were lucky Martin Boyle suffered his nightmare knee injury now and not after the transfer window had shut.

The winger faces another lengthy spell out of action after hurting the same knee that was operated on back in January.

That initial blow was sustained while Boyle was on international duty with Australia and robbed Heckingbottom of the chance to work with the 26-year-old after his appointment the following month.

The former Leeds boss was impressed enough by what he saw from Boyle in pre-season before he was laid low during last week’s win at Elgin and has now instructed Hibs’ recruitment chief Graeme Mathie to find him a like-for-like replacement before the September 2 deadline.

Heckingbottom said: “We didn’t have Martin for much of the time we were here last season but he had worked extremely hard and we were looking forward to getting him back.

“He had already shown glimpses of what he’s all about with his pace and high energy.

“So if we do replace him, we need to replace him with a player that can do that as well.

“We’ve got other good players in the squad but that is Martin’s stand-out feature – his pace and his energy – so we’d like the same sort of thing.

“The day after Martin’s injury, Graeme and the guys had a list of 15 players for me because we’re always looking.

“There can be an injury in any position, someone could come buy one of our players in any position so we have to be ready all the time.

“These things can happen at any point but you’d rather it happen now than in September when the window has shut. From that point of view you have to think you’re lucky.

“You wouldn’t wish anyone injured but it’s part and parcel of football. You just have to get on with it and deal with it.”

Hibs kick-off their Ladbrokes Premiership campaign against St Mirren on Saturday and the Buddies have had their troubles too.

New manager Jim Goodwin will travel east from Paisley with only one fit striker after frontman Cody Cooke was ruled out for up to nine months with a knee injury.

Goodwin has struggled to sign fresh faces since being appointed at the end of June but with new arrivals starting to trickle through the door now, Heckingbottom admits it has thrown his preparations for the curtain-raiser into chaos.

He said: “With the way they are speaking I’d expect them to make a few more signings.

“They’ve made a couple so it would be pointless me sitting here saying I know what kind of team they’ll put out and what they’ll try to do because I don’t.

“It doesn’t really affect us, though. We know how we want to play and that will be how we get the three points.”