Scott Allan knows the barbs may fly as readily as the studs in the coming season after he returned to Scottish football with his acrimonious departure from Dundee United still fresh in some minds.
However, despite confessing to having had doubts himself over that move to West Brom, Hibernian’s newest recruit is adamant he is back to prove any sceptics wrong.
The 22-year-old midfielder left Tannadice in 2012 after just nine first-team games amidst suggestions he was putting pound signs over his football future. Some, possibly none more so than then United manager Peter Houston, will see his failure to play for the Baggies as an opportunity to say ‘I told you so’. Yet, Allan is clear in his mind the experience has improved him as a player and individual.
“There are fans who will have the opinion that I left Dundee United too soon – and I have thought about it myself,” he said yesterday, when Hibs also announced a new three-year deal for striker Jason Cummings.
“But I look back and think I did get some good experience in the Championship, at a higher level than the SPFL. I want to prove wrong the people who think things haven’t worked out for a certain reason.”
Allan was bought when Roy Hodgson was at West Brom and the manager leaving for England was a blow to Allan’s hopes south of the border. His differing experiences playing under further bosses in two loan spells at Portsmouth and at MK Dons and Birmingham City left him choosing carefully when he decided on the next destination in a career that has so far failed to fulfil its early promise.
However, with the Glaswegian refusing to divulge whether an offer from long-term admirer Ally McCoist had transpired this summer following on-going interest from boyhood idols Rangers, he is convinced he has found the ideal move and mentor.
“For me, the manager showed faith in me when I spoke to him and I think he’s the right man to develop my career,” said Allan of Stubbs. “I want to get back on track and play football, hopefully week-in, week-out.
“He persuaded me with the style of play he is going to play. That was a big thing for me. He had a lot of faith in me and that’s why I wanted to come here.
“It’s definitely important for me to be playing regularly. Off the pitch, I wasn’t happy when I wasn’t playing; it was hard. I’ve learned a lot from that. I just wanted to come home and be around my friends and family, and, hopefully, when they’re around me I can play my best football.”
Meanwhile, Stubbs has urged Cummings to stay grounded after a meteoric rise at the club that has taken him from working as a gardener just 12 months ago to the subject of two enquiries from English Premier League outfit Swansea City earlier this summer.
“To get Jason signed up for another three years is great for the club,” said Stubbs of Cummings, who still had a year left on his previous deal. “He still has a lot to do, he has had a lot of attention in a short space of time.
“So we need to make sure he keeps his feet on the ground, because it can be easy for young players to lose their way and think it’s just going to be an upward curve. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. You have got to be prepared to work twice as hard.”