'We all feel sick for letting Jack Ross down', admits Hibs midfielder Joe Newell
Explaining that “not one player” wanted the head coach to go, he laid bare the feeling of dejection in the dressing-room by admitting that “we all feel sick”.
The Englishman has been a central figure during a wretched run of league results, with just four points picked up out of a possible 24 and only two league wins – both against St Johnstone – since August.
Newell thought the 2-1 comeback victory in Perth would have stopped the rot, but an abject performance and two reds cards in the 1-0 defeat by Livingston proved to be the final straw for Ross.
“He is the manager of the club and that is the way football works, he knows that, we all know that, and that is why we all feel sick,” said Newell.
“We all thought that could be the turning point, or the St Johnstone comeback. We all want to get out of this and you could see in that game that the fight is there.
“We all want to be in it together and it is just so disappointing because we all feel like we have let the gaffer down, massively, which we have.
“I know it is easy to say all this but there is a game in a few days time and we have got to roll our sleeves up and just dig in and do anything we can to get through this spell.
Newell described Wednesday’s collapse against second-bottom Livi as “nowhere near acceptable”, but the 28-year-old has been through this type of run before at Rotherham and Peterborough. He knows it’s not easy.
He added: “I have been there before in my career and it is really hard. You get into that habit of getting into these kind of situations, where you concede a stupid goal and it is hard.
“Both my former clubs have been in situations like we are in and there is literally no substitute for hard work. You have to dig yourself out of it.
“It is completely on us as players. The coaches and the gaffer can’t call a timeout half way through the first half and get everyone in and regroup just because we have conceded a goal.
“It is on us as men and professional footballers to get a grip of ourselves and we didn’t do that [against Livingston], we just completely went. Composure went, discipline went.”
Newell refuses to blame the busy schedule, but feels a lack of strength in depth made it difficult for Ross. Much of that goes back to the summer transfer window, when it is widely accepted that recruitment was not good enough.
The midfielder said: “We just haven’t – and that is kind of the unspoken thing regarding the summer dealings – got the squads of other teams in the league to rely on.”
Newell could hear the Hibs fans chanting for Ross to go on Wednesday, but he pointed out: “The gaffer hasn’t just passed the ball off the pitch, so it is on us players. I completely get the fans’ frustration. We have now lost seven out of nine and they paid their money. So, we are letting them down as well and we know that.”