sport

Doyle not thinking about future

Hibernian striker Eoin Doyle is adamant contract worries will not distract his attempts to fire the Easter Road side towards Europe.

The eight-goal former League of Ireland frontman has been in fine form this term having taken time to settle in Scotland following his arrival 18 months ago.

The partnership he has struck with in-form colleague Leigh Griffiths has been among the many positives for Hibs boss Pat Fenlon, but Doyle has still to be told if he will be offered a new contact when his current deal expires in the summer.

The 24-year-old Dubliner, though, is not panicking yet.

He said: "I'm not worrying about that at the minute. All I'm doing is concentrating on my football. Everything else will look after itself in due course.

"It doesn't play on my mind at all. When I played in Ireland, all I was given was one-year contracts. In fact, they were 36-week contracts, so it was tough times in the off-season.

"I'm used to this situation and it doesn't concern me. I'll just get on with things and wait and see how it goes."

Doyle was lured to the Scottish Premier League by Fenlon last January after quitting Sligo Rovers.

A mere three goals in the second half of last season hinted at a player struggling to adapt to life in his new surroundings but an increased workload and backing from his boss have had the desired effects.

He said: "I've found my feet this year, I'd say. The manager has stuck by me and things have paid off for me.

"I make sure I put in plenty of workrate as well and come off the pitch with nothing left in the tank. So far it's working.

"I've got eight goals this season. Maybe I thought I would have had a few more by now but every striker thinks that.

"I'm happy enough and hopefully the goals will keep coming along for me.

"I've got a good partnership going with Leigh. His form has been great and he's been a big asset for us. It's great to have him tied down for the rest of the campaign.

"We always seem to do well together and we just seem to bounce off one another a fair bit, so yeah, I'm enjoying it.

"There was talk about him maybe leaving and with his form, you expect people to be interested. But the club have worked hard to get the deal done and fair play to them, because he's an important player for us."

Doyle and Griffiths can expect to lead the line again on Sunday as the Edinburgh men head north to Aberdeen, hoping to protect a two-point lead over their weekend opponents.

Hibs sit in fourth, inside the qualifying places for the Europa League but the Dons are two wins from two in the contests between the sides so far this term.

Irishman Doyle, however, believes that had it not been for the excellence of Aberdeen goalkeeper Jamie Langfield - who has been prone to the odd gaffe this term - when the sides last met in November, the scores would be level.

"Aberdeen are difficult opponents and have beaten us twice this season," he said. "The last game at Easter Road, I don't think we deserved to lose. So I'd say we owe ourselves a performance up there.

"I wouldn't say we have revenge in mind this Sunday, but it was tough coming off the pitch having lost. We couldn't believe it.

"We had plenty of chances to win it and their keeper was great on the day. Hopefully, we can put them away this time - or he has a bad game."