'He’s learnt a lot about himself this season' - Verdict delivered on Hull forward James Scott's time at Hibs amid Portsmouth, Derby and Sunderland links

Following Pompey’s reported interest in Hull forward James Scott, we spoke to Patrick McPartland from The Edinburgh Evening News to get the lowdown on the 21-year-old who spent last season on loan at Hibs.
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In terms of playing style, before his move to Hull while at Motherwell, Scott was more of a winger who could play either side, whereas at Hibs he exclusively played as a number nine.

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He said it himself, because of the injuries he had at Hull, he’s put on a bit of weight so he’s a different type of player.

I’m not sure if that had an impact on how he performed this season because it didn’t really go to plan for him.

Hibs having two different managers didn’t help, either.

He started well enough in the first couple of games, but there was always competition from the first-choice number nine, Kevin Nisbet.

As a result, Scott didn’t really get much game time.

Pompey have been linked with Hull City;s James Scott.   Picture: George Wood/Getty ImagesPompey have been linked with Hull City;s James Scott.   Picture: George Wood/Getty Images
Pompey have been linked with Hull City;s James Scott. Picture: George Wood/Getty Images

During the first half of the season, Jack Ross came out and said he needed to be fitter and, once he was, he’d be a real asset to the team.

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Then came the managerial change, and he didn’t get a lot of game time after that.

There were substitute appearances here and there which were no longer than 15 minutes.

Under Shaun Maloney, he came back into the fold a little bit and received more game time.

Once Maloney was sacked, he was given a really good run of games across the last six matches of the season.

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He started a few games and looked more of a player. His stats towards the end of the loan were four goals and an assist in his last three games, but it was the end of the season and there are caveats.

One of the teams they played were to be in the relegation play-offs so fielded an almost second-string side, but he did certainly come into more of a player towards the end of the campaign.

Getting that run of games certainly helped his confidence, and during those last few matches he started to look more like the player Hibs thought they were getting in the summer.

However, I think it’s fair to say there was a lot that went against him in terms of coming back from the injury and not really fitting into the formation that certainly Ross wanted to play.

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It was quote stop-start and I think he said he was still feeling some ankle discomfort and he may still have some problems with it.

It remains to be seen if he moves back into being a wide player when he’s back to full speed, or whether he sees himself as a number nine now.

I think there is potential there. I think what Ross had said about him, coupled with his performances where he wasn’t getting goals or assists, made the fans turn on him a little.

There were a few instances where he was brought on and was jeered by the fans before he had even come onto the pitch – granted that was only once or twice at the most.

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A lot of fans, after the last three games, recognised he’s a confidence player and maybe he just needed a run of games. He is still young and we see players maturing at different stages in their careers.

It’s difficult to say what level he could get to, because there was a belief he could become a good Championship player when Hull signed him, which was reflected in the money they paid.

He’s just been very unlucky with injuries since. I think if he can keep himself fit, wherever it is, and get his confidence back, it’ll spur him onto greater things.

During the last few games for Hibs, you can see why the club were keen to sign him.

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Perhaps they were thinking they’d get more of that spread across the season.

There’s definitely potential there, but it depends on how he’s supported by whoever his manager is, where he’s played and how many minutes he gets, but he’s still learning.

He’s learnt a lot about himself this season, even a mentality change might make all the difference. I certainly think there’s a potential there.