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Heckingbottom close to new signing as Allan sees off St Mirren

Hibernian head coach Paul Heckingbottom praised match winner Scott Allan for his performance against St Mirren and has admitted he hopes to sign Rangers winger Glenn Middleton on loan.

Allan, who returned for a third spell at the Leith outfit earlier this summer, drove home an 85th-minute strike in a hard-fought 1-0 win against the Buddies.

Middleton was an interested spectator in the main stand and is expected to seal a temporary switch in the coming days after appearing to decide against a proposed loan move to Dutch outfit NAC Breda.

Heckingbottom is keen to secure more cover on the flank as Martin Boyle prepares to undergo his second knee operation in the space of seven months on Tuesday.

On Middleton, Heckingbottom said: “He is someone we’ve spoken to Rangers about and we’d be keen to do something; Rangers would and Glenn – so hopefully we can get something done.

“It would be a loan, he is someone who Rangers value highly and if we can get him, we’ll do our bit in terms of pushing him and trying to develop him and he’d do his bit for with his ability and qualities he can bring.”

Heckingbottom was relieved to start the Ladbrokes Premiership season with a victory and singled out Allan for his contribution.

He added: “Scott is working hard, he understands the game really, really well.

“He’s got moments like that, he’s been scoring goals, helping to create and working hard off the ball. That’s all you can ask for.”

Heckingbottom was less than impressed by referee Euan Anderson and linesman Craig Ferguson’s performance, however, after Tom James was forced off following a challenge from Ilkay Durmus, while Flo Kamberi had a goal disallowed for offside.

He said: “The tackle is shocking, he’s nowhere near the ball and it’s high on his calf.

“He’s pulled him over on his ankle and he’s turned his ankle so we’ll have to have a look. The tackle is horrific. Wait til you see it, the offside decision.

“It’s easy to speak about because we’ve won the game so it’s not sour grapes. It got to 80 minutes and I’m thinking, ‘please don’t let that cost us’.”

Following a disappointment Betfred Cup campaign, St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin was more than content with his team’s effort.

Goodwin, who handed debuts to Sean McLoughlin, Sam Foley, Jonathan Obika and Durmus, said: “I’m obviously extremely disappointed, more so for the players because of the effort and commitment they showed throughout the game.

“If we were sitting here and we’d been turned over four or five, it would be a different story, I would be a hell of a lot more disappointed. But there are a lot of positives I can take from that.”