BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
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 his irascible youngster is on the cusp of a recall.
The Easter Road head coach was in attendance at Oriam Scotland on Tuesday afternoon as Cummings lined up for the under-20 side against their Kilmarnock counter-parts and opened the scoring after five minutes.
However, his run-out with the kids turned sour when he was shown a red card by referee Scott Lambie for a verbal volley aimed at the linesman following a contentious offside decision.
Lennon has confirmed that he 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 of the Scotland under-21 star 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, and he realises that. But he will be in contention to play on Saturday.
“Looking at him in 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 and I was really pleased with how he set about that match.
“We are only talking about a couple of weeks where things haven’t gone right but, looking at him this week, there’s nothing wrong with him at all. He has the bit between his teeth.
“He understands that he will play a heavy role if we are to win anything this season and I am happy with how he is reacting to things. 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.”
Meanwhile, Lennon is set to be without number one goalkeeper Ofir Marciano when Falkirk visit Easter Road.
The Israeli internationalist suffered a knee injury while on duty with his national team and the Hibs hierarchy are nervously awaiting results of a scan as he prepares to return to Scotland.
While a concern for the Hibees boss – who saw Dundee United draw level with his side at the summit of the Championship this week, albeit having played a game more – Lennon believes he has an able deputy in Ross Laidlaw.
Lennon said: “Ofir has taken a knock so he has a scan to assess how serious it is.
“We are still waiting on tenterhooks to see how serious it is but we are hopeful it is not too severe.
“He has done some light training since then and, if it had been very serious, then that wouldn’t have been possible.
“There is a bit of swelling around the knee so he will fly back for treatment.
“But Ross [Laidlaw] played big games for us at the start of the season and was a surprise to me. He played against Falkirk at the start of the season and against Brondby away from home. He is a very able deputy.”