Hibs boss gives thoughts on Stevie Mallan and provides Florian Kamberi injury update
Manager Ross admits midfielder too good to be left on bench
Hibs boss Jack Ross has admitted midfielder Stevie Mallan is too good to be a substitute - despite leaving him on the bench for the third match in a row.
Mallan started all of the Easter Road side’s first 11 Premiership matches but, after Paul Heckingbottom was sacked as head coach, he was axed by caretaker manager Eddie May for the next game away to St Johnstone, one which was won 4-1.
The 23-year-old has also found himself out of the starting X1 in Ross’ first two matches in charge, the clashes with Motherwell and St Mirren also ending in victories which have fired the capital club into the top half of the table.
However, the former St Mirren and Barnsley player was called upon to replace playmaker Scott Allan - as he also did at the weekend - and stepped up to claim what proved to be the winner in Paisley from the penalty spot.
Ross, who was Mallan’s manager at the Buddies, said: “Stevie is too good a player to be a sub and he knows I do not view him as that.
“But at the moment there are personnel who have been doing well and he found himself out of the team just before I came here.
“He’s trained brilliantly in the time I have been here and was really good on Saturday and helped score the last goal. And again against St Mirren - not just because of the penalty - I thought he affected the game well for us.
“Stevie is a good player. He knows I think a lot of him. I think he enjoyed his time working with me before and it looks like that as well now and we will be playing regularly.”
Meanwhile, Ross revealed striker Florian Kamberi, who has been troubled by a niggling ankle injury in recent weeks, was replaced by Martin Boyle only six minutes into the second half against Saints with a back problem.
He said: “Flo felt his back in the first half. It was affecting his mobility a bit and because we were losing a bit of control we needed to affect the game some way with a bit of freshness, although we did not really get that until the last ten or 15 minutes.”
Kamberi was also forced to come off during the weekend win over Motherwell, but Ross is hopeful the Swiss-born hitman, who was recently called into the Albanian squad, will be fit to play against Kilmarnock this Saturday in Hibs’ next Ladbrokes Premiership match.