Socceroo Martin Boyle has roared into top form for Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership after being buoyed by his dad's heartening recovery from a stroke.
Socceroo Martin Boyle has revealed that he has rediscovered his best form for Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership now that his dad is on the mend after suffering a stroke.
Boyle's usual high standards as one of the Edinburgh side's star performers had taken a dip but the winger explained to reporters how he had had to endure a personal struggle since the turn of the year.
The Australian international was even left out of Hibs' starting line-up for the defeat to Rangers last month after he rushed to Aberdeen to be with his dad Graeme when he suffered a stroke earlier that week.
But since Graeme's been making a good recovery, so Boyle's own form has soared as he's scored four goals in his last three games for Europe-chasing Hibs and was the man-of-the-match after his latest double against Aberdeen, a performance he dedicated to his dad.
The 27-year-old told edinburghlive.co.uk how grateful he was to Hibs' manager Jack Ross for allowing him time off from training to spend time with his family.
"It is tough but I felt the best place for me was to come into training and not just stay at home and pace about the house," Boyle told the website.
"At the same time, trying to juggle football with the off-field issues has obviously been hard.
"The club have been brilliant and my wife and I have my daughter's company to help but, at the same time, I know my dad would kill me if I allowed it to affect my performances on the pitch.
"He has been watching and I always phone him after the games. He is chuffed at the moment and I have been able to see him in these tough times which is good, but I am happy to be out there doing my business and glad he is on the mend."
Boyle, renowned as one of the jokers in the squad, also praised his teammates for keeping his spirits up.
"Usually the boys look to me to be the clown in the dressing room so it was good to see the other side of them for once," he said.
"We actually do have some jokers in there. They all helped pick me up and I now feel I'm back to myself."
Ross felt Boyle had "looked back to his best in recent weeks again" and believes he "benefited from that rest mentally as well as physically".
Hibs, with the Socceroo duo of Boyle and Jackson Irvine both in fine form, have won four of their last five Premiership matches and are clear in third place, which may well ensure a place in European competition next season.