Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom admits he has explicitly told Scott Allan he will have to perform the dirty side of the game under his stewardship.

Allan has returned to Easter Road for a third spell from Celtic having played his best football at the club on the previous two occasions under then managers Alan Stubbs and Neil Lennon.

The 27-year-old’s ability on the ball has never been in doubt but Allan’s willingness to work hard off the ball has previously been called into question.

Stubbs, having signed Allan on loan for Rotherham from the Bhoys, even singled out the player for criticism in September 2016, saying: “The one thing I expect is 100 per cent commitment. I want to see that players care. I want to see character.”

However, Heckingbottom insists the former Dundee United and West Brom playmaker knows exactly what is expected of him.

Heckingbottom said: “He’ll have to knuckle down. You can’t have anybody not contributing without the ball.

“Scott knows that. But he can do it.

"He knows and we have already spoken about it. I’m looking forward to getting that side out of him.

"Every manager is different and I will be asking him to do different things to previous managers but the one thing that none of us can do is give him that ability on the ball.”

Heckingbottom, however, is confident Allan has not lost his capacity for getting the club’s supporters of their seats.

"He is a creative spark, without a doubt,” added Heckingbottom, whose side return to competitive action against Stirling Albion in the Betfred Cup on July 13.

“I have already spoken to him about what I have seen in his game and didn’t expect, and I will be pushing him on.

“And if we can get it, it will be a real benefit for the team.

“I’m looking forward to it and to getting him on the pitch and really pushing him.

“He is really comfortable on the ball and accepts it in good areas for our team and we will have to get the most out of him.

“It’s his third spell and he’d say now, ‘Why have I left twice?’

"It seems to be his home, where he plays well, and he enjoys it and everyone enjoys having him here.

“Hopefully we can take him on again and he can perform even better this time.”