Why Jack Ross extending Hibs stay is a good move for all parties
Of all the managers to have won a trophy with Hibs, only three managed it in fewer than 100 games, while four had spells of between 230 and 548 matches and came up short.
For many fans, Hibs’ failure to win a trophy last season despite two good opportunities is borderline unforgivable; a first third-place finish in 16 years paling into insignificance.
There is a sense that Hibs are starting to believe they can go somewhere under Ron Gordon’s chairmanship and the guidance of Jack Ross and his backroom staff.
Scott Allan, who had registered ten goals and 11 assists in 2019/20, was unavailable for the majority of last season. Jamie Murphy struggled with injury as well and Chris Cadden was lost to a fractured back at the business end of the campaign.
All three forwards in Martin Boyle, Christian Doidge, and Kevin Nisbet had personal issues in the background yet still scored a combined 45 goals.
It could be argued that Hibs did well to achieve what they did, all things considered.
It takes time to build a team capable of delivering consistent success. The Hibs team that tore up the Scottish Premiership in the second half of the 2017/18 season was exciting to watch but it definitely had a shelf-life. Currently it feels like the main aim is to keep the core of this team together to see what it can achieve.
It is also an easier sell for prospective new signings to show them a settled club with committed staff and players.
The recruitment team can point to the success of John McGinn and the attention Doig, Nisbet, and Ryan Porteous have earned over the last 12 months; the close-knit dressing room, and the chance to be part of a team competing in the latter stages of cups and at the top end of the league.
The model is clear: young, promising players from Scottish clubs who can be developed further, integrated into the squad, given a platform to perform and improve, and possibly move on in the future.
Working with Ross and his team appears to be just one of the draws.
Here to stay
Ross gives the impression of being in this for the long haul, which is good news for Hibs and good news for the players.
Unless things go south at a rate of knots, he will almost certainly still be here this time next year. If things go very well, he will be a man in demand.
If Hibs win a cup but fail to finish third, will that satisfy supporters? If they repeat last season – third place and latter stages of both cup competitions – will fans recognise the benefit of consistency or will it be looked at as another trophy-less campaign?
Players and management appear excited to get going; eager to build on the positives from last term and maybe, just maybe go one better in terms of silverware.
However this campaign plays out, Ross has more than earned the right to build on what he achieved in his first full season in charge.