Hibs boss Jack Ross speaks on plans for Josh Vela and Glenn Middleton

Duo are still part of plans despite not being in head coach's squad

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 6:00 am
Rangers loanee Glenn Middleton has not featured so far under Jack Ross. Pic: SNS

Jack Ross insists no decision has been taken on the future of any Hibs player even though the likes of Josh Vela and Glenn Middleton haven’t featured in a single squad under the recently-installed manager.

Midfielder Vela has played no part in the team’s last six matches since the Betfred Cup semi-final defeat by Celtic which signalled the end of Paul Heckingbottom’s time in charge. And on-loan Rangers winger Middleton hasn’t been involved at all since being substituted at half-time in Heckingbottom’s last league game in charge at the end of October.

Ross insists this duo have simply been victims of circumstances as they didn’t feature in the 4-1 win at St Johnstone which immediately preceded his appointment.

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“Both of them have been slightly unfortunate in that I came into a team that had won the previous game and I didn’t have much time to begin with so we kept the continuity,” he explained. “The results were positive in the first few games and then although we had a disappointing result against Ross County last Wednesday, a lot of the performance was positive. I didn’t come in with any preconceived ideas about any player. I was judging them all as I found them, and certainly since I came in I’ve not ruled any players out.

“Those two have just been a little bit unfortunate that they’ve found themselves in that position. They’re certainly not out of the plans.”

Ross noted recently that he has a squad that is well stocked numbers-wise. It is about to become swelled further as Darren McGregor and David Gray close in on a return to contention following lengthy injury lay-offs. Ross has enjoyed working with the experienced defenders on the training ground and is looking forward to having them available in the coming weeks. “As a manager, it makes my job easier to have them involved because of the types they are,” said Ross. “They’re both very good around the training ground in terms of standards and David’s really good at driving things forward. The message still has to be driven by the manager and the staff but I’m not dismissing how helpful it is to have players like that at the club in terms of lines of communication.

“I like to have conversations with players and a lot of the time it can be easier with players of that experience. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve come into a job where the changing room is good. They’re all good boys in there and there are some really experienced boys in there who have a good feel for the club.”