'There are games where you have to find a way to win' - Jack Ross hails Hibs players after hard-fought victory at St Mirren
Head coach hails 'huge win' after tough night at former stomping ground
Jack Ross hailed his players for toughing it out as they clocked up a third Ladbrokes Premiership win in succession with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over St Mirren in Paisley.
Christian Doidge scored his fifth goal in three games to give Hibs a first half lead, but they had to dig deep against the Buddies - who had lost just once at home this season - came back at them after the interval.
A Stevie Mallan penalty after Martin Boyle had been felled by Saints defender Gary MacKenzie gave the Easter Road outfit a bit of breathing space, but they were left to live on their nerves as substitute Junior Morias threw Jim Goodwin’s side a lifeline in stoppage time.
“I was delighted to win the game,” said Ross. “We knew it would be difficult. St Mirren will be frustrated not to have more points on the board because of the way they have played at home and this was another example of that.
“It was a huge game for us because we knew where a win would take us. It’s still very early, but it gives us a platform to kick on. It’s already looking a lot more positive for everyone.
“The players have gone three wins back-to-back and beyond that, in Paul’s (Heckingbottom) time, it’s a long time since they have lost a league game.
“There’s a lot to build on, but a lot to improve on.”
Ross admitted his players had to dig in as Saints took control of the match - Danny Mullen thumping a shot off the woodwork when Hibs led by a single goal - but the head coach said: “The truth is that in any football season, you will play well far less than people imagine.
“There are games where you have to find a way to win. We talk about that a lot, you do all your analysis and prep but the bottom line, the last thing you speak about is winning the game.
“We did that, it was difficult but we have managed to do it. From early on the players were good and when they had to be they were resilient.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to find a way to win the game – and we’ve done that tonight. In both games, tonight and Saturday, we defended our box very well.”
And Ross admitted he enjoyed his return to Paisley, adding: “I loved my time here.
“I know loads of people think it’s about being mercenary.
“But this club was brilliant to me and what we did here, I’ll never forget it. I like coming here, although I don’t particularly enjoy coming here when you’re the opposition.
“It means a lot to me and I’m grateful for that as well.”