With a spade of injuries and an embarrassing opening day defeat to Jordan, to say Australia have been poor at the Asian Cup would be an understatement.
The team ranked 109 in FIFA’s rankings shocked the Socceroos on Sunday, clinching one of their most historic results on the competitive stage. Hibs fans have also watched on with horror, as their Edinburgh stars fail to perform against these international minnows. The real blow for those at Easter Road is one of them has picked up a season ending injury.
Aussie captain and Hibs midfielder Mark Milligan has been lethargic in midfielder, whilst Jamie Maclaren has looked hopeless up front. Worse yet, one of Hibs’ star performers Martin Boyle has now been ruled out for the remainder of the SPFL campaign after picking up an injury whilst on Australia duty.
It’s been a gold coast nightmare for Neil Lennon.
Hibs’ Australian trio will suffer at club level too
Sure it’s only one game, and Australia may start to pick up points, but the signs don’t look good for the Hibees in the United Arab Emirates.
The main victim of Australia’s campaign is Martin Boyle. To have suffered an injury before the tournament is cruel, and to have it rule him out of club football for the rest of the season is a real shame for the winger.
He was one of Lennon’s more attacking threats this season. To lose Boyle to an international injury will sting for the Hibs boss, as the Australian won’t be easily replaced.
For Milligan and Maclaren though, this tournament could really dent their confidence. Maclaren and Milligan should stroll these type of games. The fact they aren’t is worrying.
Maclaren needed this tournament. It was the chance to get scoring again and come back to Easter Road reborn. The way things look right now, however, is he’ll come back even more deflated.
Lennon has already lost Boyle, and he’ll hope no more injuries are waiting for his remaining Hibees. If Australia are sent packing early, it’ll be interesting to see how much confidence Milligan and Maclaren bring back.