Scott Allan selection poser for Hibs as John Potter dismisses big-game mentality claim
Hibs No.2 John Potter has admitted that Scott Allan’s display against St Mirren has given the Easter Road coaching staff a selection poser ahead of Thursday’s Premier Sports Cup quarter-final against Dundee United at Tannadice.
The 29-year-old entered the fray at half-time and played a big role in turning the game in Hibs’ favour until Joe Shaughnessy’s late header earned the Buddies a point.
"Scott has had to be patient but like we say to everyone else, when he gets his chance he has to take it. He played very well at the weekend and made us have a think about our team and selection,” Potter said.
Agreeing that the playmaker had made an impression at the weekend, Potter added: “That’s what he’s good at.
"He’s an important part of our squad and performed very well when he came on. We’d been a bit flat in the first half and he picked us up a little bit. We’ve had a good start to the season so it’s up to him to try and get into the team.“Scott’s trained every day this season. Obviously, he couldn’t do that last term due to his medical issues but he’s over them now, he’s fit and raring to go. We’ve included him in squads and he’s come on and played well so he’s right in the mix for this one.”
Hibs won’t be short of attacking options when they head to the City of Discovery on Thursday despite the absence of Christian Doidge and Jamie Murphy, with James Scott back in contention after missing the draw with St Mirren through illness.
“A lot of our forward players have been in form,” Potter pointed out. “Kevin Nisbet, Martin Boyle, Jamie when fit, Kyle Magennis. They have all scored and created and we have competition for places. Scott Allan is a very good player who can hurt teams. He can create, and he’s a big part of what we are doing.”
Ostensibly a number ten, Allan was utilised in a wide left area to great effect against the Buddies but Potter insisted it wasn’t about trying to find a formation to suit available players.
"If you have got good players you fit them in. We have changed a couple of times this season,” he added.
"Sometimes it’s about hurting the opposition, sometimes injuries. The boys know whatever shape we play they will be well drilled and organised and know what they are doing. We have good players and hopefully they can hurt teams.”
Potter was also quick to slap down suggestions that Hibs have a mentality issue in big games.
“We've won a lot of big games. You don't finish third in the league and get to semi-finals and finals without winning big games,” the Hibs assistant boss countered.
"I think people sometimes forget games are difficult – other teams are trying to beat us as well.
"We've actually won a lot of games in the cups. You've got to actually get to quarter-finals and semi-finals to be able to win the thing.
"Last year we got to the latter stages of the tournaments and, if you want to win it, you have to do that.
“Thursday is another chance to get to Hampden so hopefully we can go and win it.”