Jack Ross fact file: Everything you need to know about the new Hibs boss

Ex-Sunderland boss Jack Ross has been appointed new Hibs manager

Friday, 15th November 2019, 4:00 pm
Jack Ross has been appointed Hibs manager. Picture: SNS

It took Hibs just 11 days to appoint a replacement for Paul Heckingbottom with the confirmation that Jack Ross is the news man at the helm at Easter Road.

Here is everything you need to know about the 43-year-old.

Playing career

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Released by Dundee at 18, Ross had a spell at Forfar Athletic before dropping into the juniors game with Camelon. His chance to move back into the Scottish professional leagues arrived with Clyde where he became captain. Having won promotion to the second tier, his form in the club's First Division tilt earned him a move to Hartlepool United but it was one which would turn sour. Following injury in his first season he returned to Scotland requested his contract be terminated. With the club unwilling it became a saga with the player going on sick leave. It was ended during the summer of 2005, allowing him to join hometown club Falkirk.

Ross spent three years at the Bairns who had been promoted to the top-flight under John Hughes prior to his arrival. He would become vice-captain before club captain. When it came to signing a new deal in 2008, Ross rejected an offer from Falkirk to sign a pre-contract with St Mirrren. Having failed to respond to the offer from Falkirk, Hughes said Ross, among others, were being "disrespectful" to the club.

During his time at Falkirk, Ross earned international recognition under George Burley, making an appearance for a Scotland 'B' side.

Two years in Paisley were followed by short spells with Hamilton Academical and Dunfermline Athletic before injury saw Ross retire at the age of 34 in 2011.

Coaching career

Ross took little time out of the game, joining Dumbarton as assistant boss the same year. The following year, with the Sons in the second tier, it was Ross who delivered the club's first win of the season against Cowdenbeath as interim boss but he would be return to No.2 under Ian Murray. The pair guided the part-timers to seventh and fifth-place finishes.

Ross, in the summer of 2014, moved to Hearts where he formed part of the coaching structure and managed the club's U20 side. But he lasted little over a year before leaving abruptly in 2015.

Again, he wasn't out the game long. By December he had been appointed boss of Alloa Athletic. While he was unable to safe them from relegation to League One, when he left for St Mirren in 2016, he left the club in a good place in the third tier having embarked on a record breaking 10-game winning run.

It was in Paisley where Ross really made a name for himself. He took over a side bottom of the Championship without a win in eight league games. It wasn't a quick fix as the club were still six points off safety come January with the manager even going into the crowd at the moment to have a discussion with a particularly irate fan.

Over the final 13 games of the campaign, the Buddies had the best record - even better than champions Hibs - as they secured safety.

It acted as a launchpad for success the following campaign as Ross led St Mirren to the Premiership playing attractive football.

He then took over Sunderland at their "lowest ebb". Back-to-back relegations saw them in the third tier of English football. Ross was the club's 11th manager since 2009.

Ross was seen as the man to turn the club around. After an initial slow start things started to pick up but a combination of too many draws (19), losing top scorer Josh Maja in January and the extra games of the run to the EFL Trophy final (where they lost to Portsmouth) saw the side finish fifth despite recording the fewest number of defeats.

The second campaign didn't get off to a good start with increasingly poor performances frustrating fans with the support turning on him in a draw with Bolton Wanderers. A 2-0 defeat to Leyton Orient in October was the 43-year-old's final game in charge with the club sitting sixth, eight points off the top.

Achievements as manager

2018 PFA Scotland Manager of the Year - Awarded it ahead of Brendan Rodgers, Neil Lennon and Steve Clarke.

2017-2018 Championship Manager of the Year

2019 EFL League One Manager of the Month for February

Win percentage

Alloa Athletic - 38.57

St Mirren - 52.50

Sunderland - 50.67

Ross on Alloa:

"It was a difficult decision to leave to go to St Mirren because of how much I enjoy the job with Alloa Athletic, and how good a relationship I have with the chairman, and with the rest of the board, and the people all around the club.

"I have always enjoyed every club I have been involved with in the past but when I was talking to Mike Mulraney, our chairman, the other day about it and even going back to when I grew up in football from the early days at Camelon Juniors with my dad, that’s where I grew up watching football and that has an affinity for me.

"I played nearly 200 games for Clyde and although I have only been at Alloa just under a year I actually know I have an affinity for this club and it will not go away."

Ross on St Mirren:

“I am immensely proud that I have helped to give you your club back and I have always said that your unwavering passion for your club was there long before me and will continue long after my time."

Ross on Sunderland“I’m so critical of myself that I immediately started thinking about what I could have done better. First and foremost, it was about not delivering on what I wanted to do, which was return the club to the Championship. From day one, I said promotion is what I wanted, so I can’t set goals like that and then bristle at criticism.

“If people say I failed because of that, fine. But in terms of failing in my time at the club, I’d argue with that until I was blue in the face. Because they don’t see the stuff we had to deal with. That job is tough. Ask me for one word to describe it and I’d say ‘challenging’. It was brilliant, but it was challenging. It’s a brilliant club and a difficult club, as well."

Ross on Sunderland Til I Die:"Purely as a football manager, I said I'd prefer not to have it. I would never grant dressing room access as I felt it would dilute the message I was trying to get across to the players, but there was a certain amount of onus on me as a manager to help them. I had a television crew in my car driving home with me at nights. Whether that gets used or not I don't know..."

"Creativity and belief in the final third. We spend a lot of time on players being as positive as they can in the final third. We put a lot of onus on end product in the final third. That end product might not always be good but I rather there was an end product than getting to the final third and then coming back out

"you have to work incredibly hard in football to get into the final third. I think once you are in there and you have the correct players at your disposal it's about giving them that licence to go and be creative and positive in that area."

Ross on supporters:

"Sometimes I will be wrong and supporters will be right. I'm happy to admit that."

Ross on getting sacked:

“I was able to speak to my dad on the phone — very briefly — before the news came out and just before he hung up he said, ‘Are you alright?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, listen, I got released at 18 as a footballer. Is it worse than that? No’. Because at 18, you think your world has ended. That’s really, really, really difficult. That takes a long time to get over."