Neil Lennon has urged Hibs kid Sean Mackie to stop “beating himself up” as he battles to force himself into the Easter Road first team.
The midfielder won a host of new admirers for his second-half display in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Celtic.
While convinced the youngster will have taken confidence from that display, Lennon believes he should stop being so hard on himself.
The head coach said: “Sean has been a bit sort of hit-and-miss with his mentality. Not in terms of having a bad attitude or anything like that, he just beats himself up and that’s detrimental to his game.
“The 45 minutes he got on Sunday will do him the world of good. He’s very good athletically and he’s got a brilliant left foot. He does things with his left foot that other players can’t, he’s got real whip and power. His running power is good, he’s just got to work on his mentality at times.
“He puts too much pressure on himself. We can all do that at a young age when we’re looking for perfection and it’s never there. You surprise yourself sometimes.
“You get your confidence from playing and the more game time he gets, hopefully he’ll build on that.”
Rejected by Hibs for being too small at 14, Mackie is now a strapping 20-year-old but, revealed Lennon, he risked being shown the door for a second time thanks to his love of bowls.
Lennon added: “He used to go to the bowling club on a Sunday instead of coming in to do a bit extra, so we had to have a word with him. He was down the Elphinstone Miners’ Club or whatever it is – he was one of their best players.”