Lewis Stevenson not wishing to 'patronise' Jack Ross as he reveals sacked Hibs manager feared the end was nigh

Lewis Stevenson has stressed that he does not want to “patronise” former manager Jack Ross after the manager’s shock midweek departure.

By Alan Pattullo
Saturday, 11th December 2021, 7:00 am
Lewis Stevenson has revealed that sacked Hibs manager Jack Ross feared what was coming (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Lewis Stevenson has revealed that sacked Hibs manager Jack Ross feared what was coming (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

However, the long-serving left-back admits it will be hard to avoid thinking about the sacked manager’s plight as the players walk out ahead of next weekend’s Premier Sports Cup final against Celtic.

“He said after he left to go and win the cup – it must have been so hard to say because I know if I was on his side (of the fence) you might not think that,” he said. “But the players all left on good terms with him.”

Asked if winning the trophy for Ross, who steered the team past Rangers in the semi-final, could be something the players will discuss between themselves in the run-up to the final, Stevenson suggested this might seem a worthless gesture now.

But he acknowledged the sense of loss within the dressing-room following the departure of Ross and his assistant John Potter. He conceded the pair will be in the players' thoughts at Hampden.

“Look, you always want to win games and obviously we want to win the cup final as well,” said Stevenson. “We will walk out that day with pride but I think we will still be feeling a bit sorry for Potts and the gaffer for not leading us out that day.

“I think it is a bit patronising to say win it for Jack, because obviously he is not here now,” he added. “I am sure individually he will probably want us to do it for us but as I say, deep down he will probably have that bit in his stomach if we win the cup and he is not in charge.

“I won’t say we will win it for him but he put the work in and got us to the final, but I wouldn’t want to patronise him.”

Stevenson admitted that he didn’t think Hibs’ latest defeat on Wednesday night to Livingston would prove the final straw. But he revealed that Ross was fearing for his job prospects long before what proved to be the denouement in West Lothian.

A story emerged yesterday that claimed the manager knew he was likely to face some serious questions from the owners after a seventh defeat in nine league games.

Stevenson revealed this had been a recurring theme in recent weeks as Hibs failed to build on a comprehensive semi-final win over Rangers.

“For the last few weeks he's mentioned that it's his head that's on the line,” he said. “Yes, we're the ones that go out and play but it's him that could lose his job. It probably had been building the last few games as he mentioned it a few times. And yeah, that was the last straw on Wednesday.

“I didn't think it was going to be the end after that night. There's been so many games where we've played well the first 20 minutes and little things don't go our way and then it snowballs and snowballs. You feel like you're never getting out of that rut.

“We were angry in the changing room but I didn't think that was going to happen. I went into training the next day with the boys for some recovery and that's when we found out.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription https://www.scotsman.com/subscription