Hibs boss Neil Lennon has challenged Scott Allan to keep producing the goods after watching the midfielder turn in a sparkling debut second time around for the Easter Road club.
Lennon described Allan as “unplayable” at times as he helped the Capital side clinch a second victory over Rangers at Ibrox this season only days after returning on loan from Celtic in a three-way transfer deal on deadline day.
While delighted with the 26-year-old’s display, Lennon is now demanding that Allan starts to realise the potential which has only briefly been realised during a somewhat nomadic existence.
“I thought Scott was fantastic,” said Lennon. “He took real responsibility, his football was excellent. He has put down a real marker – that’s his level. Rangers found it very difficult to handle him. In the first half in particular, he was unplayable.
“He is a talent, but one swallow doesn’t make a summer. He has to maintain that standard and we have to try to get the best out of him. He is a good player, an intelligent player who links up well with other good players like John McGinn, Dylan McGeouch and Marvin Bartley.”
Allan revealed on agreeing a loan deal until the end of the season he’d jumped at the chance of returning to Hibs because his earlier spell with the club had been the most enjoyable of his career. The former Dundee United man won the Championship player of the year having come back to Scotland after a move to England didn’t live up to expectations.
And Lennon believes that feelgood factor can bring out the best in Allan, who left Hibs for Celtic only to again find things not working out for him. Lennon said: “You don’t go to Celtic from another Scottish club without having ability but sometimes you lose your way a little bit. Scott needs to really settle down, find somewhere he is content and start showing the country the player he can be.
“So it is up to me to tap into that and try and get the best out of him now for however long that may be.”