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Hibs boss Jack Ross has Scott Allan doing what doesn’t come naturally

© Ross Parker / SNS GroupJack Ross with Scott Allan
Jack Ross with Scott Allan

Jack Ross has revealed heart-to-heart talks with Scott Allan helped deliver a derby victory for Hibs against Hearts.

Taken off after just an hour in the 3-0 loss to Rangers in the Hibees’ previous outing, the midfielder bounced back in style at Tynecastle on Boxing Day by supplying the two assists for Martin Boyle’s goals.

While he was again substituted ahead of full-time, this time his manager was altogether happier with his player.

“I had a good chat with Scott post-Rangers,” said Ross.

“We were really passive last Friday, and didn’t do the basic part of the game well.

“I’m not saying we would have won the game by doing that well because Rangers
are a good team. But we made it easy for them.

“I spoke to Scotty individually about it, and then we showed them some stuff collectively.

“I chatted to him at Tynecastle post-match because the two goals are both assists from him.

“This season people have gone viral over his passing, yet against Hearts one was a hook-on into the box, and the other was pressing and winning the ball back in a high area.

“That’s just as important, and it’s great he gets his instant reward, if you like, for doing that.

“The other side of the game will always be there for him, but it’s about making sure he continues to do that.

“The thing about Scott is that he is willing to do it.

“That’s maybe the misunderstanding about him. He is willing but it just doesn’t come naturally to him.

“That’s fine. You just have to keep reminding him.

“He cares a lot about his football, and he wants to get better.

“He knew right away. I spoke to him in the changing room and he knew.

“He has got as much pleasure out of that as the pass at Ibrox earlier in the season (for Daryl Horgan’s goal), or the pass against Aberdeen (which led to Martin Boyle scoring).

“That side of the game is arguably easier for him, which sounds ridiculous because those sorts of passes are so hard to do.

“But Scott has that natural ability. What he showed at Tynecastle is not natural to him.

“That’s not a criticism because everybody has different attributes.

“His willingness there and it’s just about keeping on at him to do it.”

Meanwhile, Hibs defender Darren McGregor is looking forward to coming up against his friend Marvin Bartley at Livingston this afternoon.

“That will be a difficult game,” he said.

“Livingston are flying, and Marvin is doing things I’ve never seen him do before on a football park!

“He’s had a new lease of life, and is leading the charge for them, scoring goals, chipping in with assists.

“I’m delighted for him.

“Lyndon Dykes is a physical centre-forward as well, a real handful.

“But as much as it is going to be tough, there are definite signs of progress under the new manager.

“When you ally that with the quality we have in the group, I believe we can pick up three points.”