Alan Stubbs is “relaxed” about continued reports linking Jason Cummings with English clubs after the striker’s latest high-profile goal helped secure victory over Rangers on Sunday.
Hibs are comfortable with the situation because the 20-year-old is under contract until 2017. But they can’t do anything about other clubs being credited with having an interest in the player, who has now scored 35 goals in 51 starts – including five in his last five outings.
On the subject of how he hopes Hibs will react if a bid for the player is forthcoming in January, Stubbs said: “We will cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Huddersfield Town, Fulham, Rotherham, Bolton and Burnley were all represented at Easter Road on Sunday, when Cummings’ stunning opening goal set Hibs on the way to a crucial 2-1 victory.
He has now scored 11 times in only 16 outings in the current campaign and is well on the way to bettering last season’s total of 21 goals. He has another chance to shine in tonight’s League Cup quarter-final against Dundee United at Easter Road. “It doesn’t surprise me,” said Stubbs, with reference to the growing interest. “The way we approach it is to tell him to keep scoring goals. Everything else takes care of itself. Just keep doing what you are doing.
“We are relaxed with it all. If he keeps scoring goals, we know there’s going to be interest in him at a high level.”
We tell him (Cummings)to keep scoring goals. Everything else takes care of itselfAlan Stubbs
The last striker to be so prolific for Hibs was Leigh Griffithswith whom Cummings has been compared in both talent and attitude. Despite their shared Edinburgh background, Griffiths was critical of Cummings’ arrogance after scoring a goal at Ibrox last season, which the Hibs striker said proved he had the “touch of an angel”.
However, the pair have since made up. The Celtic striker tweeted a message of congratulations to Cummings after his latest goal against Rangers on Sunday. According to Stubbs, Cummings is one of a kind.
“He’s an individual,” he said. “There will be comparisons with Leigh but I do think they are different. I’d say Leigh scores more headers as you saw at the weekend. That’s one thing we will work on with Jason.
“He’s started to score from outside the box, we know he can score from inside the box. We’ve been working really hard with him in terms of his movement and the positions he takes up.”
One of those rumoured to be with helping Cummings with his shooting from distance is former Hibs favourite Derek Riordan, who is training back at the club as he tries to re-ignite his own career.
But though Cummings’ left-footed strike on Sunday was reminiscent of one of Riordan’s long-distance specials, a bemused Stubbs said: “He’s not getting the credit for that! We do a lot of shooting practice all the time. Deeks was maybe speaking to him in the queue while he’s waiting [for his turn] about the various techniques of a striker.”