Hibs boss Jack Ross answers critics and reveals why he finally agreed to Scott Allan loan deal
Hibs manager Jack Ross has revealed that he was not keen on Scott Allan seeing out the remainder of the season at Inverness Caledonian Thistle but said he was finally persuaded by the midfielder’s persistence.
Some fans reacted badly to the news that the 29-year-old playmaker, who has spent most of the season on the sidelines with a heart complaint, had been sent out on loan to the Highlands side.
Believing that although he remains well short of peak fitness, his qualities could have been useful, even in the final stages of deadlocked encounters, they questioned the club’s judgement.
But Ross said that while he could understand their reservations, having shared some of them himself, he was swayed by the player himself.
“The fact is it was instigated by Scott. There was no want or desire from me not to have him in the squad for the remainder of the season. But he argued his case, regularly and strongly, about why he felt it was important to do so.
“He has made good progress in terms of his recovery from his condition but there remains that element of the unknown in terms of playing 70, 80 or 90 mins in a game at high intensity and, by his own admission, he is not in the right physical condition to get that in the top six of the premier league, where we are.
“So, if he wants to get more game time and more minutes playing at high intensity, this was the way to do it.”
There was logic in the temporary switch but Ross said it still took time to break down his resolve.
“If I was being entirely selfish, I would have kept him. I wouldn’t have sanctioned it. But we would only have been available to use sparingly so I tried to be quite unselfish and look at it from Scott’s perspective.
“The most important thing is that he felt strongly that this is something that will be good for him and we reluctantly agreed to it. But if you take a step back and look at it then I think we have been sensible.
“Looking at the bigger picture, this is helping Scott with his ongoing recovery and for us, as a club, depending on how it goes, this allows us to say ‘yes, he is right back at it’ and that is something we wouldn’t really have been able to gauge otherwise.”
With covid restrictions limiting friendlies and Allan’s match fitness shy of what is needed in the top tier, denying the play the chance to push himself, Championship football addresses those issues, while Ross insists that the rest of the squad have shown what they are capable of without the incisive Allan.
“Due to his condition, Scott has not been able to contribute for much of this season. But this is still a squad that has been in the top four all season without his contribution and we have to be respectful of that as well.
“I had knocked back his request on more than one occasion but Scott constantly argued his case and it wasn’t about being unhappy here, it was about him progressing his recovery. I would hope that people would appreciate that.”