The 19-year-old hit the post in the friendly against Arsenal before going one better against Raith Rovers a few days later, and the former Queen’s Park youngster has reaped the benefits of a season spent training with the Easter Road first-team squad.
"What he’s done over the last year is he’s made himself a first-team squad player because of how he’s adapted to training with us.
"He then found himself in competition with a lot of good players last year at the top end of the pitch. Obviously [in pre-season] there has been a little bit of opportunity presented because of injuries and illness and it’s those sorts of opportunities players have to try and take.
"I think he’s been okay, I think he’s done well. He’s a really good player and I still think we can get more from him.
"At the moment he’s around that first team, and he needs to be. Once we’re into August and we have players back or we bring anybody else in and we feel it’s best for him to go on loan then we'll do that. But right now, he’s been involved on merit and his goal against Raith was another significant moment for him as well.”
Campbell ‘has put himself much more in the reckoning’
Josh Campbell is another player who has found himself involved this summer after a successful loan spell with Edinburgh City last season. The versatile midfielder has filled in at right-back on occasion as well as fulfilling a more natural role in the middle of the park.
Ross continued: “Josh has been at the club for a number of years and desperately wants to be a Hibs player. I saw him a couple of times with Edinburgh City last year and all you can do when you go on loan is make an impression and he did that with the number of goals he scored.
"He’s got good attributes to be a successful player and has put himself much more in the reckoning.
"I’m pleased with his progress so far and compared to where he was last pre-season, he is significantly ahead of that.”