Jack Ross explains why Ryan Porteous and Kevin Nisbet face a battle to regain Hibs starting berths
Porteous had been a Premiership ever-present this season until the recent trip to Tannadice, while Nisbet, when fit, had been the first choice striker.
But, speculation linking them with moves away from Easter Road, led Ross to drop the in-demand pair to the bench for the match with Dundee United. Their team-mates performed well without them and their manager chose to stick with a winning formula as they backed that up with triumphs over St Mirren midweek and then against Aberdeen at Easter Road on Saturday.
But, Ross insists the Scotland international and his top scorer, who have been given some game time as substitutes, with Porteous scoring in Paisley, have accepted they will have to wait for their chance to break back into the starting line-up.
“They’ve been fine. Initially there was a lot of speculation when we first left them out against Dundee United and on the back of that the players who came in have performed really well and I’ve always worked that way that players deserve to keep the jersey if they are performing well.
“They understood that and to be fair to them they have been vocal in their support, I hear Ryan behind me and I know how much he wants Hibs to be successful and Kevin is the same.”
Ross is delighted with the uplift in his team’s form, as they moved five points clear in third place, but says he knows how quickly things can change if they let standards slip.
“It can change very quickly again, hence the reason you don’t get too high and too low. But, as my assistant [John Potter] tells me a lot, you’re better being on the rollercoaster than the merry-go-round! That’s very true and sums up football management very well.”
The Easter Road boss is now waiting to find out if the influential Jackson Irvine and Alex Gogic, who both sustained shoulder injuries on Saturday, will be fit for next weekend’s trip to Dingwall to face Ross County.