Hibs boss Jack Ross confident of Euro progression after first leg draw with Rijeka

Hibs manager Jack Ross says his side can head out to Croatia next week and pose a real threat to Rijeka but he admitted that his men should have been travelling to the Kvarner region with a first-leg lead.

By Moira Gordon
Thursday, 5th August 2021, 11:36 pm
Updated Friday, 6th August 2021, 9:11 pm
Daniel Mackay missed a late chance to win the game for Hibs. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Daniel Mackay missed a late chance to win the game for Hibs. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

For the home side, the latest Conference League qualifying tie was there for the taking but, as well as failing to capitalise on the chances that came their way, a defensive lapse allowed the visitors to take the lead.

“It was a good game and I thought we were excellent. The only frustration is the end result because I felt we deserved to win the game,“ said the Hibs boss, whose side showed resolve to bounce back with a 66th minute Martin Boyle leveller. But the winner evaded them.

“I was delighted with our performance level and I want the players to use it as a barometer. We will travel next week with confidence and belief that we can win the tie.

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“Coming into the game we stressed to the players that you can get spooked a little bit by what country a team comes from.

“They are a good side but we come up against good sides in Scotland.

“And I think we showed with our performance level that we are a good side and we carry a threat. I expect us to do that in Croatia as well.”

Of all the opportunities that came their way, the late effort from Dan Mackay was one of the more memorable. Through one on one, he just couldn't find the net.

“I think that’s the one,” admitted Ross. “It was a big chance but Dan gets himself in those positions and he’s a young man who can be hard on himself for not taking it. But he gets in good positions and he needs to keep doing that.

“That chance catches the eye given the stage of the game but over the course of the game we had a lot of good opportunities.

“It’s a strange feeling...I think we have started the season well with individual players in good form. But it’s a strange feeling not winning the first leg but it would be very difficult to complain about any part of the performance.”

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