Caley Thistle interim manager Neil McCann hopes his side can reap the benefits of Scott Allan’s renewed hunger after the midfielder joined on loan from Hibernian.
Inverness pulled off a major coup by landing Allan on a temporary deal until the end of the season, in time for him to make his debut in Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Arbroath.
Allan has been an impressive performer in three spells at Hibs, and earned a move to Celtic in 2015, but struggled to command a regular place at Parkhead.
The 29-year-old has only featured nine times for Hibs this season, however, having spent five months on the sidelines after being diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition which caused him to feel tired and short of breath.
Allan has made four substitute appearances for the Easter Road side since the turn of the year, with Jack Ross having been keen to keep him as part of his squad in Hibs’ bid to secure third place in the Premiership.
Given his need for starting outings, Allan was keen to force through the switch to Caledonian Stadium, and McCann is thrilled with his enthusiasm to join his side.
McCann said: “I’m really pleased for the boy because the medical condition he has had to deal with has knocked him back quite a bit.
“It can be quite a scary thing, but once he’s given the all-clear with the other opinion, he’s just a boy who wants to play football.
“Maybe he realises that the little fright and being allowed now to come back in and compete, he’s hopefully got a renewed hunger. It can desert you a wee bit when you’re out and injured.
“He was so up for coming here when I spoke to him and he was right in among the boys on Saturday. I think they got a surprise as well when he came in.
“Hopefully he will give the group a lift – it’s getting very competitive for places now.”
Allan previously worked under McCann during a loan spell at Dundee in 2017, during which he played 23 games before rejoining Hibs.
McCann was encouraged with Allan’s display from the bench against the Red Lichties, and feels he will have a major role to play in Caley Jags’ push for the promotion play-offs.
He added: “I’d been asking to see if I could get Scott. Hibs were maybe a wee bit reluctant to do so, with one or two injury concerns, but maybe that’s cleared up.
“I spoke to Jack Ross and he said I had permission to speak to Scott.
“Having worked with him before, we had a bit of a prior relationship, and I just encouraged him that this was the place to come and play and get some games under his belt.
“You can see he’s not quite up to 100%, but his influence on the game I thought was important.
“He has a calm head, he gets into great positions and he’s strong – he’ll be a great signing for us.”
Inverness focus switches to Scottish Cup action this weekend, with Friday’s Highland derby encounter against Ross County at Victoria Park.
McCann is encouraged by his side’s recent form, with Caley Thistle making the trip to Dingwall fresh from four straight victories.
He added: “Sometimes with the amount of games you would expect us to start high and then go off, but we are going the other way – we are going up.
“It suggests they have got a bit of a winning feeling about them and they are prepared to really work for each other.
“We have dealt with Arbroath to get ourselves into a good position, and we’ve now got a massive cup tie to look forward to against our local rivals Ross County.”