Hibs boss won't 'hang Ryan Porteous out to dry'

Manager wants to help youngster after rash challenge

Saturday, 21st December 2019, 1:19 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd December 2019, 9:45 pm
Martin Boyle gets rid of the bottle
Martin Boyle gets rid of the bottle

Hibs boss Jack Ross has insisted he won’t be hanging Ryan Porteous “out to dry” after the Scotland Under-21 defender was shown a straight red card during the Easter Road club’s defeat by Rangers.

Porteous was sent packing by referee Nick Walsh for a terrible tackle on Rangers Borna Barisic with his side trailing to goals from Ryan Kent, Joe Aribo and Jermain Defoe and will now miss the Boxing Day derby with Hearts at Tynecastle.

Ross had no complaints about the ordering off saying: “In real time, I am a good distance away from the incident and I’m at pitch level. But I have watched it again and it’s fine, it’s a red card. The pace Ryan goes in at and he goes in high.

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“It’s an error of judgment from him but I am not going to hang him out to dry because he is a young man. People say young men make mistakes. You make mistakes all through your life and your career.

‘“It’s how you react and learn from them, that will be the key thing for Ryan. It about how he reacts because it obviously left us in an even more difficult

position in the game.”

“The consequences in the short term made that last part of the game challenging and we had to dig in. The further consequences are that we’ve got Hearts and Livingston and depending on what it’s deemed as he could be missing for both, but having him out for Boxing Day is a blow.

“I like him a lot. It’s not brushing it under the carpet. I’ve spoken to him and will do again. It’s about how he learns from it.”

Missiles were also thrown on to the pitch, a half bottle seen near Barisic as he received treatment following Porteous’ challenge. The Easter Road club have promised to do all they can to trace the culprits.

But Ross said: “The one thing I would say, and I’m answering this as a human being rather than a football manager, is that I can’t quite get my head around why anyone would make the decision to throw a glass bottle at another human being.

“I just don’t get it. And I don’t understand it. There are a couple of different aspects to that. There are people who argue that behaviours on the pitch or around the pitch affect that.

“That’s garbage, an excuse. Someone who does that deserves the consequences that come with it. Because to throw the bottle is a ridiculous decision.”

As for the game itself, Ross admitted he was disappointed with his side’s performance coming as it did hard on the heels of defeat by Celtic.

He said: “We were a long way short of where we need to be to give ourselves a chance of winning tough matches.

“This was going to be a tough match and obviously when you concede two goals as early as we did and in the manner we did, it becomes hugely difficult to take something from the game.”

Asked what his side need to do better against Hearts, he replied: “The basic fundamentals of the game which is competing in the right manner. We’ve played the top two in the country and they put contact on you, in the best possible way.

“They’re aggressive in how they get after the ball and that’s what you need. That’s overlooked at times. People look at how good football teams are but they do that part well. We were lacking that and we’re going to have to have that on Boxing Day.”