'I'm not here as a stepping stone' - Jack Ross insists he's at Hibs for the long haul

New Hibs head coach eyeing lengthy stay at Easter Road

Monday, 18th November 2019, 2:57 pm
Updated Monday, 18th November 2019, 3:36 pm
Jack Ross arrives at the club's East Mains training complex for his first day as Hibs head coach

Hibs' new head coach Jack Ross insists he's at Easter Road for the long haul after returning to management in Scotland following his stint at Sunderland.

The former Alloa and St Mirren boss signed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Capital club last week to succeed Paul Heckingbottom, who was sacked by the club in the wake of the 5-2 Betfred Cup semi-final defeat by Celtic on November 2.

Speaking to Sky Sports as he met the media for the first time ahead of Hibs' Ladbrokes Premiership clash at home to Motherwell this weekend, Ross outlined his early ambitions.

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"I want to be here for a number of years. I'm not here to use it as a stepping stone or a platform," he said.

"I want to be a successful Hibs manager and hopefully be here long-term.

"My last job was at a club with a high-frequency change of manager and I think I was the longest-serving since Steve Bruce (Sunderland manager from 3 June 2009 until 30 November 2011) so I think I did okay in that respect.

"I could have been there for longer but certainly the ambition [at Hibs] is to be here for a long time."

With Hibs languishing in the lower echelons of the Ladbrokes Premiership table, Ross has a task on his hand to propel the Hibees up the table - although the 4-1 win at St Johnstone following Heckingbottom's departure went some way to appeasing the fanbase.

Having faced the Easter Road side during his playing and coaching careers, Ross insisted he could handle the expectations from the terraces.

"The challenge is having to win football matches, as a manager and a club. Supporters want that but there are demands at certain clubs for how you do it.

"It's not like I'm not familiar with [Hibs], I've been here often enough as an opposition player, coach and manager. I've seen some really good sides so it's up to me to make sure I can provide a side that can satisfy the demands of the supporters."

Ross also admitted the job had felt like a "natural fit" from very early on as he talked up the "good things" in place at Hibs.

He continued: "From the initial conversations I had with Leeann [Dempster, chief executive], Graeme [Mathie, sporting director] and Ron [Gordon, chairman], I got a good feel from them, and I think that's important, and then progressed to more formal discussions in terms of what I could hopefully offer the club.

"There are a lot of good things in place at this club, whether it's the training ground, or the stadium, and how they do things in general.

"There are a lot of things behind the scenes that people don't see that are very good and very positive and I feel that it's a good fit.

"Ultimately the proof will be in the pudding in terms of what I can produce and results on the pitch but it just felt very natural from very early on."