'It won't define our season but it's an opportunity' - Jack Ross looks ahead to Hibs v Rangers clash

Hibs boss keen to make most of Sunday clash but insists it won’t be season-defining

By Patrick McPartlin
Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 6:29 pm
Jack Ross and Steven Gerrard go head-to-head on Sunday in the top-of-the-table clash
Jack Ross and Steven Gerrard go head-to-head on Sunday in the top-of-the-table clash

Hibs head coach Jack Ross is well aware of the threat posed by Sunday’s opponents Rangers but insists the match will not define the Easter Road side’s season.

The Capital club currently sit second with five wins, one draw, and a defeat from their opening seven games while the Ibrox outfit have won six and drawn one and have kept seven consecutive clean sheets.

Ross knows it will be a challenge, but is focused on his own side raising the bar.

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Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of the mouthwatering Scottish Premiership encounter, Ross said: “We know we're playing a team that's top of the table at the moment and have enjoyed a very, very good start to the season - almost flawless in terms of picking up points - and with a really strong defensive record.

“But equally, we’re probably going into it in a similar frame of mind.

"Our recent form stretching back pre-lockdown has been very good and this season, the results that we have achieved consistently have been excellent as well, so it's a game we can very much look forward to as a group.”

With both teams’ rearguards earning plaudits in recent weeks, the onus is now on the attackers to swing the game one way or the other.

Ross continued: “Both teams' defensive record is brilliant; we've taken great pride in ours this season. It was something that I think we had to address from last season if we wanted to achieve our ambitions but we've shown that we carry a goalscoring threat.

"We know Rangers do as well so it points to being a game that, despite both teams' strong defensive records, you would think there will be chances created throughout and we'll look to try and do that. I think we've earned the right to be as positive as we can on Sunday.”

The Hibs boss is hopeful his side can get a positive result on Sunday, as he outlined the targets his players have been set.

Ross added: “It won't define our season either way, but we are challenging the players every single day to set the bar higher.

"I think they've dealt with those demands to date, and if we can achieve a positive result on Sunday then it raises that bar again. We want to be like that as a club. I think we have to have those ambitions.

"Sunday is an opportunity for us to go joint-top of the table. That's as big an incentive as you'll get, regardless of opposition so while it's a challenge, I think we're all looking forward to it."

The Edinburgh side has enjoyed its best start to a league campaign for two decades but Ross stresses that early performances and results are all about laying down the groundwork for future success.

Ross said: “Pre-season went well and I believed we were in a good place come the start of the season but you can put all those plans in place and if you don't get results early then the pressure can change and players' mentality can change.

"What we're doing is giving ourselves a platform and a foundation for success and to finish high up the table.”