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'I believe you can develop good people' - Montgomery on Cummings & man-management

Among new Hibs boss Nick Montgomery's impressive achievements at Central Coast Mariners was harnessing the talent of wayward striker Jason Cummings.

The former Hibs forward arrived at Mariners in January 2022 after his spell at Dundee soured amid discipline issues.

Yet Montgomery get the best out of Cummings, who went on to net 31 goals in 50 appearances and help the club to the A-League title this year.

His accent may be as Edinburgh as it gets, but Cummings' form also earned him a place in Australia's squad at the World Cup last winter.

So just how did Montgomery tame the 28-year-old?

“He’d be the first to say he did silly things that went against him, but he’s a super talented player," Montgomery told Hibs' Inside Training podcast.

“Jason was probably immature at the time and when I asked people about signing him 50% said don’t touch him, the other 50% said if you can get the best out of him you’ve got a special talent.

"I believed I could get the best out of him by giving him a bit of discipline. The reality is, he’s a great lad, he’s just done some silly things that went against him.

“When I brought him over, his vision was to become top scorer in the league and to get to the World Cup, which everyone probably thought was crazy. But along with the sport psychologist, we pushed him hard and when it started to become a reality, you could see Jason mature a lot.

“Jason was one of the first people to text me to say what a fantastic club Hibs are, that I’d love the club and the city. He’s got a lot of love for the club."

Montgomery's man-management clearly worked on Cummings and the new Easter Road head coach has told his Hibs squad he will demand a lot of them but that his "door is always open".

“All I look for is a good person," he added. "I told the players here when I met them that I’m always honest, they might not like it, but I’ll always talk to them. My door is always open.

"I believe you can develop good people. You have to see the best in people. I put a lot of demands on the players, for some it may be too hard, but then it’s about helping them find different environments. I always want to try to help people.”