Hibs boss Jack Ross speaks on targets and goalkeeping situation

Head coach delighted with options after addition of Bogdan

Friday, 29th November 2019, 6:00 am
Jack Ross. Pic: SNS

Hibs boss Jack Ross has insisted he isn’t setting any target other than to keep winning matches.

Three straight wins have hoisted the Easter Road side into the top six of the Premiership, with tomorrow’s match against Kilmarnock offering the chance to draw level with the Rugby Park outfit in fifth place.

But Ross is determined to adhere to a blinkered approach, adamant he’s neither looking too far ahead or glancing over his shoulder at those below Hibs.

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Admitting it’s different to what he’d done in the past at St Mirren and Sunderland, he said: “I made the decision here to be really, really short term in terms of how I looked at the team, and that was simply about winning games.

“We’ve not had any big meetings about targets or anything like that. We have this really busy period coming up, so it’s about consistently hammering home the message that we need to be winning games regularly.

“Beyond that we can maybe start to look at the bigger picture. But right now it’s about continuing the run we are on because we know every time we win a game the table looks more healthy.”

With the focus purely on securing the three points, Ross admitted he was happy enough to see his players “win ugly” to secure his second win as head coach as he returned to St Mirren in midweek, Hibs second best for long spells.

He said: “Any team that has success during the course of a season has to do that. There’s this pressure to play the game in a certain way and be attractive, but most teams that are successful will have loads of games in a season where they just dig out wins.

“The teams that are challenging in our own league to win the title have had that this season. Even look at a team like Liverpool, I don’t think they’ve won their recent games convincingly or comfortably so Tuesday night was very much about the result.”

Having said that, Ross revealed he was a little frustrated that having defended well against both Motherwell and the Buddies, his side hadn’t kept a clean sheet even although goalkeeper

Chris Maxwell hasn’t had a lot to do thanks to the efforts of the players in front of him.

The on-loan Preston North End player has been handed the gloves for Hibs last 11 matches, relegating Israeli Ofir Marciano to the bench while the return of Hungarian cap Adam Bogdan has further intensified the competition between the sticks.

Ross said: “You come into a squad and sometimes you have a goalie who is significantly stronger than the competition he has.

“And sometimes you come in and there are goalkeepers who are equally competing to be first choice. That’s the situation here. There are certainly good goalkeepers here so the choice will be based on form and how the team is doing. In terms of strength in depth in that area we have it. Both Ofir and Adam have trained really well and both want to play. If the opportunity arises they need to take it.”