Former Hibernian forward Scott Allan believes Kevin Nisbet is keeping manager Lee Johnson in his job.

The Scotland international opened the scoring and also netted a late equaliser in Hibs’ 2-2 draw at home to Dundee United on Saturday to move them closer to sixth-placed St Mirren.

That performance followed a hat-trick at Motherwell in their previous match as he continues to make his mark on his return from a long injury lay-off.

Nisbet returned to action in December after nine months out with a knee injury and Allan believes his former Easter Road team-mate is vital to the club’s fortunes this season.

“He’s single-handedly taking Hibs back up the league,” Allan told Sky Sports News.

“The goals he’s scoring at the moment are of real quality and, when you’re scoring goals like that in January, you will drew attention.

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Highlights from the Scottish Premiership match between Hibernian and Dundee United at Easter Road

“I know Hibs are trying to get players out but they need to keep players like him because he’s going to be essential to getting them back up the league.

“There’s a lot of pressure at Hibs at the moment but when you’ve got a striker like that producing the goods he probably is keeping him (Lee Johnson) in a job at the moment.”

Defender Ryan Porteous looks set to leave Hibs in January with Blackburn Rovers believed to be interested in the 23-year-old.

He is out of contract at the end of the season and has already confirmed he will not be signing a new deal.

“This window for Hibs is going to be crucial,” Allan added.

Ryan Porteous has made over 150 appearances for Hibs
Blackburn Rovers are interested in defender Ryan Porteous

“I know Lee Johnson said they’ll finish the season stronger than they came into it but if you lose Ryan Porteous he’s going to be a hard one to replace.

“It is a bloated squad but it’s quality over quantity, it’s got to be that way. Hibs have had a rich history of getting good players in on good deals so they’ve obviously changed that transfer strategy over the last couple of years.

“The best players in their team are Kevin Nisbet, who they got from Dunfermline, and Ryan Porteous who came through the youth setup.”

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