Scott Allan aims to use his time at Caley Thistle to prove he is ready to start matches for Hibs as soon as next season kicks off.

The former Celtic midfielder, sidelined for five months with a worrying heart condition, might easily have stayed at Easter Road to pick up five minutes’ action here and there through to the summer.

But after making his debut in the slender victory over Arbroath, the 29-year-old’s drive and impatience was clear.

Diagnosis with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy set in play Allan’s absence from September last year, with questions raised about his future in football.

Hibs manager Jack Ross, chasing the rewards of third place in the Premiership, was reluctant to lose him at a crucial time in the campaign, but sanctioned the loan when Allan himself took a lead role in pushing for it.

Scott Allan on his Inverness debut
Scott Allan on his Inverness debut

Since returning to training in December, he had been granted four substitute’s appearances totalling only around an hour’s on-field action.

His arrival in Inverness, having driven up on the morning of the game, represented a coup for the Championship promotion outsiders and their caretaker manager Neil McCann.

Allan told how a swaying factor was McCann’s attitude in talks, stressing: “When Neil saw I wasn’t playing, his first thought wasn’t how I was feeling, it was that he wanted me to come here because of the type of footballer I am.

“It was about my ability, not the condition, and that’s why I wanted to come here.

“Questions may have been asked (about my readiness), but I know I’m good to go. I will show that in the coming weeks.

“It’s the most game time I’ve had since I’ve been back from my heart condition.

“I hadn’t trained since Tuesday and then drove up on the morning of the game – so much for sports science!

“It has been a long journey back since the end of August. There has been a lot of hard work just to make that first step of getting back on the bench for Hibs.

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“I knew myself that was never going to be enough for me to be happy. I’m a player who wants to play football and get back to being the best I can be.

“I could have sat at Hibs until the end of the season, but for me moving forward I want to come up here and get games.

“I want to prove I’m good to go for Hibs at the start of next season.”

Allan worked under McCann for six months at Dundee and trusts John Robertson’s temporary replacement to help him reboot his career.

Scott Allan in action during a Scottish Championship match between Arbroath and Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Scott Allan in action for Inverness

He said: “I have come here to a good club and a good manager I know well. I think me coming out of my comfort zone, up here to Inverness, tells you everything about my desire to get back playing as best as I can.

“It wasn’t an easy decision because Hibs are going for third and I could have come off the bench late to affect games.

“But given the journey I’ve been on, I need to play real games. I’ve not had that opportunity at Hibs yet.

“It is great to start with a win. As the game went on, I looked fit and didn’t feel tired. That’s what I need, not coming on for five minutes here and there.

Scott Allan has joined Inverness to get games under his belt
Scott Allan has joined Inverness to get games under his belt

“I want to put myself in a position where I can go back to Hibs and be in contention to start the game.”

It was far from a classic at the Caledonian Stadium where the hosts struggled for long spells to create chances.

The crucial moment came from a set piece after 69 minutes with Nikolay Todorov leaping superbly to smash a six-yard header past Red Lichties’ keeper Derek Gaston from Cameron Harper’s free-kick.

Arbroath manager Dick Campbell was proud of his players’ efforts and felt the Highlanders were fortunate.

He said: “I thought Christmas came early for Inverness. We were by far the better team in the whole game.

“Credit to the big boy Todorov for the goal, but they never tested my goalkeeper the whole day.

“I couldn’t have asked for any more from my boys. I feel sorry for them because they put so much into the game

“The problem we have is we’re not scoring a lot of goals.

“We have five big cup finals to come.”