Neil Lennon has revealed that Jason Cummings will pay the price for his foolish midweek dismissal, quite literally, by making a contribution to charity.
However, the Hibs striker is certainly not in the manager’s bad books, with Lennon insisting the player is on the cusp of a first-team recall.
Cummings was shown a red card while playing for Hibs under-20s against Kilmarnock on Tuesday for a verbal volley aimed at the linesman following a contentious offside decision. Hibs boss Lennon has spoken to Cummings about his conduct and the club are ready to donate a portion of his pay-packet to a good cause.
Nevertheless, the indiscretion did nothing to dampen Lennon’s praise for the player and his attitude following a run of three consecutive matches on the bench.
“We can’t condone dissent, but we’ve all done it and I’m not going to throw the rule book at him,” said Lennon. “We’ve spoken and he has trained well. I’ve had a quick chat with him on Thursday morning and he will be dealt with, perhaps making a contribution to a club charity. But he will be in contention to play on Saturday [against Falkirk].
“Looking at him on Tuesday, he was outstanding. I was really pleased with him up until the sending off. While he might be disappointed in not playing, he is not showing that on the pitch.
“He understands that he will play a heavy role if we are to win anything this season. While there has been a lot of talk about him not playing, there have been signs of him improving and forcing his way back into the team.”
Cummings’ absence has barely been felt in recent victories against Dunfermline, St Mirren and Ayr United largely due to the impact of Martin Boyle, who is thriving as a centre-forward rather than playing in his customary role out wide.
Lennon said: “We felt he could play through the middle. Watching him in training, he is a good finisher, has great technique and he has been superb in that central role.”
Lennon is set to be without goalkeeper Ofir Marciano when Falkirk visit Easter Road tomorrow.
The Israeli internationalist suffered a knee injury while on duty with his national team. Ross Laidlaw is likely to deputise for Hibs.