Jack Ross won't sit back when Hibs face Celtic - just look at his previous visit

Mallan gives insight into manager's philosophy against champions

Friday, 13th December 2019, 6:00 am
Stevie Mallan was part of Jack Ross' St Mirren team that gave Celtic a fright in 2017. Pic: SNS

Stevie Mallan is adamant that Jack Ross will ensure Hibs attempt to play on the front foot at Celtic Park this Sunday.

The Easter Road midfielder recalls how his new manager took former club St Mirren to Glasgow’s east end for a Scottish Cup tie in 2017 and the Paisley side - then at the foot of the Championship - ended up getting rave reviews for their performance for an hour of the match against Brendan Rodgers’ all-conquering side.

Mallan insists Hibs will be playing with similar attacking intent as they visit the freshly-crowded Betfred Cup winner’s this weekend.

Sign up to our Hibs football newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“With Jack in charge, we definitely won’t be going to sit in,” Mallan told the Evening News. “I remember going to Celtic Park with St Mirren in a Scottish Cup tie when we were bottom of the Championship and we didn’t even sit in that day. We took the game to them and were 1-0 up into the second half before they brought on the cavalry and won 4-1. Brendan Rodgers was buzzing off the way we had played and was also buzzing about Jack.

“It’s the type of manager he is - he won’t sit in against anyone. The type of club Hibs are, we should never be sitting in against anyone. I don’t like defensive football - I like attacking football, end-to-end stuff, and that’s the type of game you usually get against Celtic. These are the type of games where you want to show what you can do.”

Paul Heckingbottom’s Hibs reign ended after a 5-2 defeat by Celtic in the Betfred Cup semi-final early last month but in the match prior to that, the Edinburgh side gave the champions a stern test in a 1-1 draw at Easter Road. Buoyed by an impressive run of recent form, which includes last weekend’s rousing 3-0 win over the Dons, Mallan is confident his team can make a game of it once more in Glasgow this weekend.

“After losing at Ross County, the performance we got against Aberdeen was exactly what we needed going into the Celtic game,” Mallan. They are bang in form and they’ve just won the cup so it’s going to be hard but the main thing is that we go into it in the best possible form. We’ve been doing well the last wee while and we’ve put ourselves on a good footing.

“We did really well against Celtic at Easter Road. We weren’t doing well at the time and a lot of people expected Celtic to wipe the floor with us but we held our own with them. Since I’ve been here, we’ve generally always done well against the Old Firm, apart from the Rangers game at the start of this season. We know exactly how to play against them.”