Jack Ross pores over old Melker Hallberg footage as he addresses Hibs positional switch

Jack Ross has paid tribute to the versatility of midfielder Melker Hallberg after the Swede was deployed as an auxiliary right-back against Cove Rangers.
Melker Hallberg looks to give Cove Rangers' Blair Yule the slip at the Balmoral StadiumMelker Hallberg looks to give Cove Rangers' Blair Yule the slip at the Balmoral Stadium
Melker Hallberg looks to give Cove Rangers' Blair Yule the slip at the Balmoral Stadium

Hibs finished the Betfred Cup group game at the Balmoral Stadium with a right-back at centre-half and a forward on the wing as a mixture of injuries and international duty left the head coach short on options across the park.

Hallberg began the game in midfield before being shifted to defence for the second period as the Easter Road side looked to get back into the game after going in a goal down at the interval, and Ross was delighted to see the former Vejle and Kalmar player notch an assist from an unusual position.

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Speaking ahead of Hibs’ trip to Angus to face Forfar Athletic in their third Betfred Cup group game, the Easter Road boss hinted that Hallberg could continue in his temporary role.

Ross said: “He has those attributes that give him that versatility and I'm sure there will be other occasions when he'll have to do that and fulfil different roles.

"When I first came to the club he played at the bottom of a diamond and I don't think that's really his natural position, either.”

A quick glance at Hallberg’s career stats to date show that, incredibly, the only positions he hasn’t yet filled are goalkeeper, left-back, and centre-forward.

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Ross continued: “I watched quite a lot of his early footage from Sweden and he's played in that type of position before.

“He's intelligent and he wants to be better all the time so he asks a lot of questions of me and my staff and although it's easy to say because we won the game, I had absolutely no fears about playing him at right-back.

"I knew he would handle it. It's nice to have in the squad, somebody who has that flexibility in the game. It's important.”

With Hibs down to the bare bones of their squad, there is every chance Hallberg could continue at right-back in a makeshift defence with Sean Mackie at left-back and David Gray partnering Darren McGregor at centre-half.

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