HIBERNIAN head coach Alan Stubbs has told Jason Cummings in “no uncertain terms” what is expected of him after the teenager found himself again making headlines on the front pages of newspapers rather than the back.
In February Cummings was involved in a bizarre early-morning incident in an Edinburgh branch of McDonald’s in which muffins were thrown at staff, the upshot being the player was banned from the premises, although he later pleaded his innocence.
Earlier this month, the 19-year-old, who had scored as Hibs beat Falkirk 3-0 the previous day to clinch second place in the Championship table and with it a less rigorous play-off schedule, was linked to a house party in the capital where, allegedly, a 15-year-old girl was filmed having sex.
Cummings subsequently received a torrent of abuse on social media despite his vehement insistence it had nothing to do with him and that he was downstairs watching the “bout of the century” between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao with friends.
At the time Cummings, who only days earlier had won his second Young Player of the Month award of the season, declared: “It’s nothing to do with me. It has been a nightmare for me and my family.
“There were about 50-odd people at the party. Me and my mates were there, downstairs, watching the boxing.
He needs to realise that he needs to remove himself from those situations.Alan Stubbs
“I was sitting with my mates, having a laugh, having a beer or whatever then I got dragged into this.
“I only found out when I was getting abuse on Twitter. The police have not spoken to me.”
An 18-year-old youth was subsequently charged in relation to the incident, but while accepting Cummings had done nothing wrong, Stubbs revealed his young striker has been reminded of his obligations as a Hibs player and of the countless instances of young talent which has gone awry in the past.
Speaking at the club’s Spanish training base in La Manga last night, Stubbs said: “I think the way Jason responded to what happened was normal. He was worried and rightly so but with Jason and from the club’s point of view we expect the players to behave and live the right lifestyle.
“Jason knows in no uncertain terms what we expect of players and I can assure you will be changing. He needs to make better lifestyle choices. He has a responsibility. The club has a responsibility, it’s a family club and that will never be lost.
“We have a responsibility not just to the players but to the fans as well. He needs to realise that he needs to remove himself from those situations. Jason has a career and we’ve all seen in the past when players make wrong choices how quickly that can diminish.
“We’ve had a discussion with Jason and it’s now time he learns very quickly. He’s got a talent but that doesn’t necessarily get you