Martin Boyle believes the departures of Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson will push him into a leadership role at Hibs.

With the two club legends moving on in the summer, their absence will leave a void which requires others to step up and lead by the example they set for almost 20 years. And, with Boyle now among Hibs' senior cohort, he suspects this will be the moment the 'penny drops' for him in assuming a more prominent role as a dressing room standard setter.

At 31, Boyle has been a talisman on the pitch for Hibs, but says it's now time - alongside the likes of Joe Newell - to 'step up' now that Hanlon and Stevenson will no longer be around at Easter Road.

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“I’m disappointed to see them go but this is probably where the penny will drop for me in my career," said Boyle. "I have to step up and finally get into that leadership and really drive standards every day. Those two were great role models and professionals around the place and they’re moving on.

“I think it’s time for myself and Joe (Newell) to step up and show that example to the rest of the group. That could help me. It’s always there at the back of my mind, I can do it, I can be that guy.

“The other two being here takes a bit of the pressure off me, but now it’s time to really step up.  We’re the longest-serving people at the club now and we need to drive home what it means to play for a big club like this. We have to instil that into next season."

It's set to be another summer of change at Hibs as the club searches for a successor to Nick Montgomery. The 42-year-old was sacked on Tuesday, a humiliating 4-0 home defeat to Aberdeen proving to be the final straw for a board who are now under immense pressure to deliver a successful managerial appointment.

Hours after Montgomery's dismissal, Hibs announced the arrival of Malky Mackay as director of football to aid that process, and to help reshape the club's football operation. Boyle has witnessed more than his fair share of overhauls at Hibs, and is adamant that what everyone now needs - from players to fans - is some stability.

“I have worked under a fair few managers here and I haven’t got a bad thing to say about any of them," said the Australia winger. “In fact, I probably have a lot of apologising to do because it didn’t work out and they ended up not staying as long as they would have wanted to.

READ MORE: David Gray speaks on Hibs job - 'I believe I can do it'

“They’ve all been positive. Man management these days is a big thing and driving those standards and being nasty when you need to be. And there have been items this season when we needed that nasty streak in us and we just didn’t have it.

“Hopefully the next manager who comes in will have a long term run with the club. We desperately need stability and to get the trust back with the fans. We’ve lost that over the last few months.

“The fans pay a lot of money to support us and we’re not giving them the results. It ruins their weekend and it ruins ours as well, we know it has not been good enough. We need to get back to the performances we know we’re capable of."

David Gray, now in his fourth stint as interim manager, has said he feels capable of taking the job full-time, and would likely prove a popular choice among the players. Boyle, certainly, rates him very highly.

“Dave is great, he totally gets everything about that club," he said. "He’s very passionate in the way he speaks and great around the place. He’s stepped up since he has taken that coaching role. He had those leadership roles when he was player and captain here. He drives standards every day. He’s a little quieter when he has not been in that manager role.

“But when he has stepped up into that interim job he’s done great. His record is good and everyone backs him when we step on that pitch. We’ll have to see what happens but in my eyes he is great."