Jack Ross trusts Hibs to overcome blip as he insists he didn't come to Easter Road to be 'mediocre and average'
Jack Ross saw enough from Hibs in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Aberdeen to suggest that his players are gradually emerging from the funk that started with the red card shown to Ryan Porteous at Ibrox at the start of the month.
True; Saturday’s loss at Pittodrie to a team experiencing their own wretched run of form did little to calm fears among the supporters that the Easter Road side are on the slide, but Ross isn’t sounding the alarm bells just yet.
“I don’t like losing any game and it bothers me if it is one game in isolation or consecutive ones,” he said as he previewed the visit of Celtic on Wednesday night.
“Sometimes you have to take a step back and look at things. We lost at Ibrox at the start of this run but we received a lot of plaudits and people said we could challenge.
“You can’t say within three games we aren’t a good team, but we have to acknowledge that we were way below the levels in the Dundee United game.
“Against Aberdeen, we did the fundamentals better but lacked that bit of quality we normally have. We have to keep that calmness and put things into context.”
The Hibs boss and his players have come in for criticism throughout their three-game blip but Ross insists he far prefers that to the alternative.
“I came in here and didn’t be mediocre and average. I didn’t want to have spells of doing well and others of not doing so well. It was about being consistently good.
“We have pretty much got there in recent times so when we dip below that we get criticism.
“If you don’t want criticism as a player or manager then go and work at a mediocre club without big expectations.
“I have been open about the expectations here. We know if we don’t hit them then we will get stick and I would rather have it that way.”
Ross is braced for a tough encounter with Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic but is keen to continue the Glasgow club's winless league run in the Capital.
“They have obviously improved as the season has gone on, which was natural given their summer of transition, which continued into the early part of the season,” he pointed out.
“Getting to play them so far into the first quarter means there’s been a real consistency about their approach and how they try to play.
“That helps to an extent, preparation wise. It doesn’t make it easy, but we understand what we’ll be up against.
“They come in their best form of the season, but it’s a venue where they haven’t had the best results over the years. We want to continue that on Wednesday.”
Hibs will have Ryan Porteous available after serving a two-game suspension and Ross is relieved to have a such a key figure back in the mix.
“Ryan has been big miss. A lot was made of everything else in the aftermath of his red card but the biggest thing for me was losing him for two games.
“He’s been excellent this season, not only defensively. His range of passing is important to how we want to build the game so I’m delighted to have him available for Wednesday.”