Hibs' Scott Allan taps into old Shaun Maloney Celtic link - will he be a first pick for new boss?

Ensuring a positive introduction, new manager Shaun Maloney banked three points for Hibs just days after joining the Easter Road club.

Hibs midfielder Scott Allan.
Hibs midfielder Scott Allan.

Creative midfielder Scott Allan, who was included in the starting line-up for the first time in over two months, later described it as a “great start” but despite ending the evening victorious, with the players praised for the way they had absorbed fresh instruction and adapted in such a short period of time, Allan admits there is still “a lot to work on”.

That graft has already begun but it will progress in earnest as the new boss takes advantage of the winter sabbatical which follows this Sunday's trip to Tannadice, to put in some concentrated training ground endeavour and size up what he has inherited and where reinforcements are required.

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"I've known the manager from my time at Celtic,” said Allan, who has a jump start on his colleague. “He was working there with the reserves. Obviously there’s a way he wants to play and he sees some of my attributes in the way he wants to play.

“You could probably see that in terms of some of the control we had with the ball. It's a great start but we have a lot to work on in terms of how we want to play but I think we saw more than you would expect of that because we've only had two sessions. We have adapted well as a squad and it gives you confidence when a new manager comes in and gives you the nod and we get off to a winning start.

"It was good to get the nod because it's been a while since I started a game. I'm happy to get the fitness up and get off to a good start with the win."

Missing most of last term after he was diagnosed with a heart condition, the last time the 30 year-old was included from the outset was in the flaccid 3-0 defeat by Dundee United in mid-October.

His omission, under Paul Heckingbottom and then Jack Ross, often riled the Hibs support, who enjoy his style, vision, and ability to slice open defences with a quality pass. But, if the PR blurb is to be believed then there is likely to be more room for players of his ilk under Maloney.

"In terms of my personal situation, it's been an up and down season for me,” said Allan. “I've had to come on in games and sometimes I wasn't getting on. In my few starts we've had some decent results so for me it's about keeping myself professional."

And with uncertainty over how long the current covid restrictions will impact in the game when the prescribed three-week shutdown concludes, Allan is just happy that Maloney managed to take a bow and get off to a winning start in front of the fans.

"For everyone it was a good start. “It was important for us to get the win with the new manager and with it being possibly the last game with fans for a while, we don't know how long that will go on for.

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"And, as a team, after the cup final defeat on Sunday, it was very important to get a win against a very good Aberdeen team, and a clean sheet.”

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