Hibs: Jack Ross reveals his Jamie Gullan 'oversight' as striker recalls his own cup glory

Striker is very much viewed as a first-team player now
Jamie Gullan, right, won the SFA Youth Cup with Hibs in 2018Jamie Gullan, right, won the SFA Youth Cup with Hibs in 2018
Jamie Gullan, right, won the SFA Youth Cup with Hibs in 2018

Jamie Gullan has already had a taste of being a winner at Hampden and now he’s looking to book a return visit to the national stadium when Hibs face Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup tonight.The striker was part of the Easter Road side which completed the double two years ago when they defeated Aberdeen in the final of the SFA Youth Cup, having earlier won the Development League title.Gullan completed the scoring as Grant Murray’s team came from behind to win 3-1 and now, newly promoted to head coach Jack Ross’ first team squad and, having listened to the stories of Hibs historic cup triumph four years ago, it’s something he’d love to experience all for himself.He said: “Seeing what happened that day was unbelievable for the club and the boys still talk about it. It was a massive day for the fans and as players they are the games you want to play in.“The Youth Cup final was a good day on a smaller scale. It was still a massive final for us as young boys to play in. It was a great experience and good to win it.”Gullan accepts that he is very much third choice behind Christian Doidge and Marc McNulty in Ross’ plans, but with Oli Shaw and Flo Kamberi having both left the club during the January transfer window, he’s determined to make the most of the opportunity which has opened up for him.After spending the first half of the season on loan at Raith Rovers – scoring ten goals to help take the Kirkcaldy side to the top of League One – Gullan joined Ross’ squad for their winter training camp in Spain, admitting he realised how big the week on the Costa del Sol was going to be for him.He said: “It felt like it was a trial week and I had to take what I was doing at Raith into that week and hope the gaffer liked what he saw. It worked out pretty well for me on that front.“I was fit and ready and I let the football take care of itself. I wasn’t nervous at all, I was looking forward to it. I’d had a couple of training sessions here and there while I was still at Raith but nothing like that week. It was good to get a week with the manager and Potts (assistant head coach John Potter) watching me.“It had been good getting out for that six-month period and getting two games a week. I took a lot of confidence from that loan spell, playing a lot of games and scoring goals. I got ruthless, in every game I wanted to score and that kind of changed my mindset a wee bit instead of just being happy with a good performance.“Now that I’m back here I’m in a good place and loving being back around the first team. I am really enjoying at the moment but hopefully the game time will come.”Gullan now has his own peg within the first team dressing room, Ross admitting failing to give it to him earlier had been a bit of an oversight on his part.Ross said: “It’s one of those things as a manager that you don’t pay attention to because you are so busy with other things. But it was brought to my attention that he was still changing with the younger players.“I view him as a first-team player now. You can view it as a rite of passage and he deserves it. He’s been really, really good. I can’t speak highly enough of how he is doing at the moment in training and reserve games – and he’s been coming on the pitch for us.“I’m just excited about him getting more game-time with us and that will come. He’s been really impressive since he came back, he just has to keep doing what he’s doing.“And if he does that he makes my plans for the summer okay because I know I have a striker I believe is a first team player.”Ross feels Gullan’s confidence will rise even higher following this week’s “flit”, saying: “I think that’s how young players should look upon it. I remember moving Kyle Magennis and Kyle McAllister into the first-team dressing room at St Mirren.“You can probably get a bit old and blase about these things and think there’s nothing to it. But it was a big deal for them and it’s the same for Jamie. It’s a superficial one to a degree because it is not going to determine whether or not he is going to be a top player.“But for his own progression it’s another box ticked off, it’s more about how I view him, which is as a first team player. So he has every right to change in amongst them on a daily basis.”Gullan will again be on the bench tonight as Hibs look to ensure they don’t become another scalp for John Robertson’s Caley, who have already knocked another Premiership side in Livingston out of the cup, with Ross admitting he can’t emphasise enough just what a victory would mean.Revealing he’d spoken about it to his players immediately after their draw with Livingson last weekend, he said: “They’re excited about the game, they know the prize at stake and they’re backing themselves at the moment. Their form has been good, performances have been good and the incentive for us is huge. It is a really, big game for us and I’m looking forward to it because of the prize at stake.”