Goals ‘will give Jason Cummings new belief’

Jason Cummings is trailed by Northern Ireland's Liam Donnelly
Jason Cummings is trailed by Northern Ireland's Liam Donnelly
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Alan Stubbs believes Jason Cummings will be back among the goals for Hibs after the striker ended a seven-match drought with a double for Scotland Under-21s.

Stubbs had sensed a growing frustration as Cummings found himself stuck on 20 goals after claiming the winner in the Scottish Cup against Capital rivals Hearts, culminating with an astonishing miss as he hit the bar from only three yards out against Raith Rovers.

But the 20-year-old overcame the horror of seeing a penalty saved by Northern Ireland goalkeeper Conor Brennan to inspire a second-half fightback from 1-0 down which propelled the young Scots to win 3-1.

Today head coach Stubbs insisted it was only a matter of time until Cummings hit the goal trail again and, now that he has done so, he believes his tally will begin to quickly mount.

He said: “It was great for Jason because we know how much scoring goals means to him. He has had a little spell recently when things have not gone for him and he’ll have other times in his career when this will happen again.

“But he’ll be able to deal with them. This is the first time and sometimes it makes you feel a bit more uptight, you try that little bit harder and you become a bit more tentative. It’s all part of the learning curve.

“We’ve not put any pressure on him, strikers will always score goals. It was just a matter of time before he did although the more the games pass by the more apprehensive young players can get.

“They don’t know how to deal with it so that’s where the help of the staff and the experienced players at the club comes in, trying to tell him to keep doing the right things, to be in the right places and to keep believing in himself.”

Scotland Under-21 coach Ricky Sbragia praised Cummings, who had also failed to score as his side lost to France last week, for not hiding after seeing his penalty saved.

Stubbs said: “I actually thought it was a good save but then Jason showed the character he needs to score twice.

“It’s great for his confidence. He is a confident boy but hopefully this will be the catalyst for him to go on another run.”