Hibs’ Eoin Doyle pledges to fill striking void left by departure of Garry O’Connor

EOIN DOYLE insists he finally feels ready to make an impact at Hibs this season – after learning from former Easter Road hitman Garry O’Connor.

The Irishman, who joined from Sligo Rovers in January, has found himself cast as Hibs’ senior striker following the summer departures of O’Connor, Leigh Griffiths and Roy O’Donovan.

And, while he expects manager Pat Fenlon to bring in attacking reinforcements before the new SPL campaign kicks off in just over a fortnight, Doyle reckons he is ready to make his mark after taking training-ground pointers from O’Connor, who finished last 
season as Hibs’ top scorer with an impressive 16 goals.

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Doyle, speaking from Hibs’ training camp in Holland ahead of tonight’s friendly match against Belgian side Lierse, said: “I learned so much from Garry last season. He’s the best finisher I’ve ever seen. He was phenomenal in training and scored goals for fun. Garry has done a lot in the game and it is hard not to learn from a guy like that. It was great to play alongside him, and with him and Leigh leaving the club, I may get my opportunity.

“It would be good for me to try and get established at Hibs and score goals regularly. I’ve enough confidence in myself and hopefully I can produce. I’m confident I’ll be able to bag a few. I can’t wait to get started – I’m thinking of nothing else. I’m sure the manager will bring in another striker before the season starts, but all I think about is my own performance. I’m not one of those guys to shy away from pressure.”

Meanwhile, Hibs midfielder Isaiah Osbourne is in talks with Championship outfit Blackpool, while out-of-contract goalkeeper Mark Brown has not made the trip to Holland as he ponders his next move. However, Hibs have not ruled out the possibility of re-signing the shot-stopper who played in the Scottish Cup Final.