BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Hibs midfielder Scott Allan insists there is a lot more to come from him after admitting he was not even fully fit at the start of last season.
The 23-year-old’s admission that there is room for improvement is a frightening prospect to the rest of the Championship after he was named the league’s Player of the Year last term.
Allan joined the Leith outfit at the tail end of July last year following a disappointing two-year spell at West Brom but was playing catch-up after missing out on pre-season training.
The talented playmaker was determined not to let that happen this time and even rejoined his team-mates at their La Manga training base on Friday after initially jetting back to Scotland to attend the birth of son Zac.
Allan, who has vowed to see out the final year of his contract at Hibs amid interest from Rangers, said: “You don’t want to miss too much and having missed pre-season last year, I want to hit theground running and improve on things from last year.
“It took me about three-and-a-half months to catch-up last season. I have already improved my fitness by two levels from where it was at the end of last season when I was playing every week. Pre-season gives you that base level of fitness to kick on.
“I feel as if Alan Stubbs has already got some of the best out of me last season but I think he is the man who can improve me again.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here, it’s the happiest I have been. I have another year here and I enjoy it.”
Asked what he would like to add to his game, this season, Allan replied: “More goals, but I want to improve all round and dominate a lot more games.
“I had a good year last season but I want to move on and goal scoring is the highest.
“The manager’s man-management is great. I’ve been at a few clubs now and that’s not always like that and that’s why he gets the best out of players.”
Allan, who played the opening 45 minutes in Saturday’s 2-1 friendly defeat to Wigan in Spain, was thrilled to become a dad for the first time on Thursday.
The midfielder, the subject of failed bids from former club Dundee United in January, jumped on the first plane from Spain on Wednesday after learning that partner Natalie had gone into labour ten days early.
He added: “I found out about 11:30am on the Wednesday that she had gone into labour and I was on a plane at 3:40pm.
“A few people recognised me on the plane back and were asking why I was going back but I told told them why. They probably didn’t believe me but no doubt they’ve seen the pictures now.
“I was emotional, there was a tear in my eye when I first held him; seeing what they go through as well to deliver, it was tough.
“I spent rest of Thursday at the hospital, I was there for as long as I could before visitors were asked to leave.
“I didn’t get much sleep and I was up at the back of five to return to La Manga.”