John Hughes has likened Dunfermline striker Lewis McCann to Ross County powerhouse Jordan White.
McCann, 20, has become a mainstay for the Pars under ‘Yogi’, starting every game since the manager’s arrival in November.
The Northern Ireland under-21 internationalist has found the net three times in that period, with two of those goals coming in the same fixture — a 3-0 triumph over Ayr United.
Proven Championship attackers Kevin O’Hara and Nikolay Todorov have been limited to cameos from the bench, while Craig Wighton was loaned out to Arbroath; a mighty show of faith in McCann.
And while Hughes concedes that McCann may not have an instinctive eye for goal, he reckons the tireless work ethic and link-up play makes up for that — just like White in Dingwall.
“Lewis [McCann] reminds me of big Jordan White up at Ross County,” said Hughes. “I had Jordan up there and, although he is not a prolific goalscorer, he was that focal point.
“Lewis is someone that we can play up to. His physicality is a real problem [for opponents].
“I don’t think he is going to be a natural out-and-out finisher, but he has to work on that, which he is. Left foot, right foot — he wants to hit the back of the net.
“His effort and commitment is not in question, and his physicality lets others come into play. At times he is up there on his own and his work ethic shines through. In fact, we had to take him off on Saturday because he was out on his feet!
“He leaves everything out on the pitch and maybe a goal would give him a spark of confidence. I’ve seen it many times in my career; strikers just need one goal to go on a run.”
Pybus Covid return
Meanwhile, Dan Pybus faces a race against time to make himself available for Friday night’s televised showdown against Partick Thistle.
The combative midfielder was a notable absentee during Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Kilmarnock after being identified as a close contact to a positive Covid test.
His period of isolation expires on Thursday — the day before the Jags visit East End Park.
And Hughes insists Pybus’ availability will be down to whether the former Sunderland and Queen of the South man is able to keep himself in prime condition while away from the club.
“I think he will come back in on Thursday,” revealed Hughes.
“We will have to check. If he doesn’t have any symptoms — which was the case when we last heard — then we hope that he is doing a lot of training!
“If he is keeping himself fit and ticking over, he will come back into contention. Dan has done really well for me.”