ALAN STUBBS today insisted Jason Cummings “will be changing” following a heart-to-heart with the teenage striker after he found himself again making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Only hours after scoring in the 3-0 win over Falkirk which clinched second place in the Championship table for Hibs – a goal which took his tally for the season to 20 – Cummings was linked to a house party at which, it was alleged, a 15-year-old girl was filmed having sex.
The revelation found Cummings subjected to a torrent of abuse online although, he insisted, the alleged incident was nothing to do with him, adamant he’d been downstairs chatting with mates and watching the Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao boxing match on television.
While accepting his player – who in February was banned from the Gorgie Road branch of McDonald’s after an early-morning incident in which muffins were thrown at staff – had done nothing wrong, Hibs head coach Stubbs has made it clear to Cummings he has to “make better lifestyle choices”.
Speaking at the club’s La Manga training base in the South of Spain he said: “I think the way Jason responded to what happened was normal. He was worried and rightly so but with Jason and from the club’s point of view, we expect the players to behave and live the right lifestyle.
“Jason knows in no uncertain terms what we expect of players and I can assure you will be changing. He needs to make better lifestyle choices. He has a responsibility. The club has a responsibility. It’s a family club and that will never be lost.
“We have a responsibility not just to the players but to the fans as well. He needs to realise that he must remove himself from those situations. Jason has a career and we’ve all seen in the past when players make wrong choices how quickly that can diminish.
“We’ve had a discussion with Jason and it’s now time he learns very quickly. He’s got a talent but that doesn’t necessarily get you to where you want to be. You need to have a lot more. I know a lot of players who have got talent and I know a lot of players who have wasted talent and I know where they are now.
“It has to register with him now. It’s not a choice. It’s not like we’re saying ‘we’d like you to do this’. It has to register. The last thing I will say on it is that the most important thing in this situation is the girl – it’s not about Jason.”
Cummings, who had won his second Young Player of the Month award a couple of days before the incident, claimed at the time the aftermath had been a “nightmare” for both him and his family. He said: “There were 50-odd people at the party. Me and my mates were there, down the stairs watching the boxing.
“I was sitting with my mates, having a laugh, having a beer or whatever then I get dragged into this. I only found out when I was getting abuse on Twitter. The police have not spoken to me.”