Hibs' Martin Boyle lifts lid on angry Nick Montgomery team-talk and why he can't wait to eclipse One Direction experience

Half time in the Edinburgh derby, a goal down at the home of your rivals and not playing well, it is no surprise that new Hibs manager Nick Montgomery had some choice words for his players.

“Yeah, he was angry,” admitted Hibs forward Martin Boyle. “You could definitely say that! A few boys got a bollocking. The players knew ourselves that the first half hadn’t been good enough. In the middle of the park, we lost the battles, lost the duels. When you go to Tynecastle, you have to win those and get on top of the game. The game at that stage was a bit scrappy, a bit open. Obviously we didn’t dominate as we wanted. So the manager was within his rights to do that, to call us out and demand more. And it worked."

Trailing to Alan Forrest’s 28th-minute opener, Hibs’ job was made ever harder when Christian Doidge sliced an Alex Lowry cross into his own net to put Hearts 2-0 up just before the hour mark. At that point, the visitors looked in trouble, but they dug deep. Elie Youan lashed home on 66 minutes and moments later the same player coolly brought Hibs level. In a pulsating conclusion to the first Edinburgh derby of the season, Boyle himself could have been the hero with a late chance of his own, only for Kye Rowles to block his shot.

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“It was some game, wasn’t it?" continued Boyle. “It was an enjoyable one. We showed good character to come back – and we knew we would get chances to score again after the first goal. I thought I had a chance to win it late on. But the grass felt a bit long and I couldn’t get the ball out of my feet, couldn’t move my feet quickly enough. Sometimes they fall for you and sometimes they don’t.”

Hibs' Martin Boyle tries to evade the clutches of Hearts' Toby Sibbick at Tynecastle.Hibs' Martin Boyle tries to evade the clutches of Hearts' Toby Sibbick at Tynecastle.
Hibs' Martin Boyle tries to evade the clutches of Hearts' Toby Sibbick at Tynecastle.

It was put to Boyle that Hibs have gained a mental toughness since Montgomery took charge. “It’s always been there,” retorted the Australian. “It’s just been about how to get the best out of us, how to implement it. I feel like, since the manager came in, we’ve had that spark. So you could say that, a couple of months ago, we would have lost that game. But we all stick together. We’re definitely one unit.”

Montgomery has made no secret that he has flooded his players with new information and tactics. “Aye, my brain doesn’t keep up with it, as you can imagine,” Boyle joked in his usual manner. “There’s a lot of work, a lot of information, out on the pitch every day, watching videos, getting information to process. It’s probably more than I’ve had with previous managers. Every manager is different, this is how he wants to set up – and if we’re going to play that way, we need to take the information on board, keep doing it on the pitch.”

Boyle can now look forward to a trip to Wembley with Australia when they take on England on Friday evening. The last time he was there, he was singing along to One Direction. “I never thought I would play there, not in my wildest dreams,” the forward added. “I was just saying to the missus the other night that we went to a concert there a couple of years ago. Now I’m going there to play on the pitch. Me personally, I’ve missed a lot of big occasions on the international stage, so this one will be special for me.”



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