Dundee boss Jim McIntyre wants wide player Jesse Curran to believe in himself to develop his “real potential”.
The 22-year-old has been an ever-present since Jim took the managerial reins at Dens Park and has impressed all season in what is his rookie campaign as a regular first-team player.
The young Australian has even drawn admiring glances from former England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson in his new role as manager of the Philippines.
Curran has links to the South-East Asian country through his parents but is more than likely to hold off in the hope his country of birth Australia come calling.
He’s even been considered for a Scotland U/21 call-up.
All that is irrelevant to the Dens gaffer, however, he needs Curran playing well for Dundee first and foremost.
Jim said: “Jesse has been good for me since I’ve come in.
“He’s a player I think has real potential but, like any young player, he needs to believe in himself a wee bit more. I’ve been very pleased with what we’ve seen from him so far.”
Curran’s role has changed under the new manager after previous boss Neil McCann wanted to develop him into an attacking full-back.
McIntyre, though, sees him further up the pitch where he can use his pace to hurt opposing teams more directly.
Also able to play as a central midfielder, Curran’s versatility has its uses for a manager but Jim has urged the young Aussie to “nail down a position” to really fulfil the potential he sees in him.
The Dens boss said: “I see him playing further forward rather than right-back, though I know he can play there. He has that athleticism you need to play full-back, wing-back as well but I think you can get goals out of him.
“He’s versatile but I think sometimes with players you need to nail down a position so we’re trying to do that with Jesse.
“But I definitely see him in the midfield area.”
Curran is expected to continue in that right-wing role for the Dark Blues at Hibs on Saturday despite having fit-again Roarie Deacon as competition.
The former Sutton United man missed the draw with St Mirren with a thigh strain but trained this week and is available.