SCOTT ALLAN knows the barbs may fly as readily as the studs in the coming season after he returned to Scottish football with his acrimonious departure from Dundee United still fresh in some minds.
However, despite confessing to having had doubts himself over his move to West Bromwich Albion, Hibernian's newest recruit is adamant he is back to prove any sceptics wrong.
The 22-year-old left Tannadice in 2012 after just nine first-team games amid suggestions he was putting pound ahead of his future. Some, possibly none more so than then-United manager Peter Houston, will view his failure to play at the Hawthorns as a chance to say 'I told you so'. Allan is unequivocal that the experience has improved him as a player and as an individual.
"There are fans who will have the opinion that I left Dundee United too soon," he said. "I have thought about it myself: 'Was that the right move?' But I look back and think I did get good experience in the Championship, at a higher level than the SPFL. I want to show people who think things haven't worked out that they're wrong."
Allan was bought when Roy Hodgson was at West Brom and his leaving for England was a blow. However, although the Glaswegian refused to divulge whether an offer Ally McCoist and Rangers had materialised following ongoing interest, he is convinced he has made the right move.
"The manager showed faith in me when I spoke to him and I think he's the right man to develop my career," said Allan, of his new head coach Alan Stubbs. "I want to get back on track and play football, hopefully week-in, week-out. He persuaded me with the style of play he is going to play. That was a big thing. He had a lot of faith in me and that's why I wanted to come here. It's definitely important for me to be playing regularly. Off the pitch, I wasn't happy when I wasn't playing; it was hard. I've learned a lot from that."
Meanwhile, Stubbs has urged Jason Cummings to stay grounded after 12 months in which he has gone from working as a gardener to attracting interest from Barclays Premier League club Swansea City.
"To get Jason signed up is great," said Stubbs of Cummings, who yesterday agreed a new contract. "We need to make sure he keeps his feet on the ground, because it can be easy for young players to lose their way."