BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
NEIL LENNON insists John McGinn has put another million on his price tag following his wonder-goal against Rangers.
The Scotland internationalist turned in a virtuoso display as the capital club claimed a 2-1 win at Ibrox, capped when he opened the scoring by surging through the heart of the Gers midfield before lashing a superb drive beyond Wes Foderingham.
Lennon has revealed that he knew McGinn was despited to grab a goal in Govan after his number two Garry Parker burst into the dressing room raving about his finishing during the warm-up.
“He positioned himself beautifully and it was a wonderful strike and his all-round game was fantastic,” lauded Lenny. “He is back to his best and that puts another million on his price tag!
“It was a brilliant goal, and I fancied him to do that Garry [Parker] came in before the game and told me ‘John is just lashing them in during the warm-up’.”
Lennon was similarly effusive in his praise of on-loan Celtic midfielder Scott Allan, who enjoyed a classy debut for Hibs after joining for a second spell on deadline day.
The Northern Irishman described the showing as ‘unplayable’ on occasion and has told Allan in no uncertain terms that he must replicate that form on a weekly basis as he seeks to kick-start his career at Easter Road – just like he did during the 2014/15 campaign.
“Scott took real responsibility, his football was excellent and has put down a real marker,” continued Lennon. “Rangers found it very difficult to handle him. In the first half in particular, he was unplayable.
“He is a talent, but one swallow doesn’t make a summer. He has to maintain that standard and we have to try to get the best out of him.
“You don’t go to Celtic from another Scottish club without having ability but sometimes you lose your way a little bit. Scott needs to really settle down, find somewhere he is content and start showing the country the player he can be.”
Lennon, meanwhile, has welcomed a free weekend after lamenting the number of walking wounded following a gruelling period of games.
Paul Hanlon, Darren McGregor, Steven Whitakker, David Gray and Vykintas Slivka were the marquee names on a lengthy injury list at the weekend, while winger Brandon Barker has since been ruled out until around April.
Lennon, whose side are not in Scottish Cup action after losing to Hearts in the fourth round, hopes to have more options for their next league encounter against Aberdeen.
“Sometimes you want the momentum to carry on – but injuries are killing us,” Lennon told Hibs TV. “My physio is overworked. But we are hoping that Paul [Hanlon] and Darren [McGregor] and possibly Steven [Whittaker] will be back for Aberdeen, which will make us stronger.”