Jack Ross: Once I had talked to Hibs, there was no other club for me

New Hibernian manager says club is the right fit

Tuesday, 19th November 2019, 6:00 am
Hibernian sporting director Graeme mathie, Jack Ross and cheif executive Leeann Dempster

Jack Ross is delighted to be back in football barely six weeks after being sacked by Sunderland, claiming he and Hibs “are right for each other”.

The 43-year-old insisted that he was “consistent and strong” in his desire to join the Easter Road club from the off at a time when he was also being strongly linked with the managerial vacancy at rivals Hearts.

Ross clinched a three-and-a-half year contract to succeed Paul Heckingbottom, axed by the Hibees a fortnight ago having won just one Ladbrokes Premiership match this season, and immediately declared he was up for the challenge of bringing consistent success to the club.

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Admitting such a revelation was hardly earth-shattering, the former Alloa and St Mirren boss said: “For me, they should always be challenging for top four. They should always be challenging for European qualification.

“They should always be challenging for domestic success in terms of trophies in cup competitions. The challenge is to do it consistently, every single season. The club has enjoyed periods. It won the cup recently, it has qualified for European football.

“Can you do it every single year? That’s the next step for the club. Make sure it’s always seen to be in that position and it becomes a regular feature of what the club does. That’s the challenge for me. You can do it for one season, but you’ve got to try and do it for two, three and four seasons after that.”

Ross will begin his assessment of the squad he’s inherited from Heckingbottom, one which underwent a major overhaul during the summer, but, he revealed, he believes Hibs should be in a better position than at present.

“Up until four weeks ago, I was enveloped in English football, trying to be successful there,“ he said. “From what I have seen and the people I have spoken to, there has perhaps been an element of misfortune this season.

“They should have had more points. But there are fine margins between success and perceived failure in management. Initially, it’s just making sure that we develop that winning mentality as quickly as possible.

“There is very much a tradition of playing the game in the right way here. That’s ultimately what we want to get towards but to get out of the position we are in at the moment we need to win games regularly.

“It’s about making sure that there is a steeliness, a determination and a belief within the group that they will do that.”

As for Hearts’ reported interest in him Ross, who had a year as a coach at Tynecastle, said: “I was in a position where I was out of work and two really big jobs became available at the same time in Scotland.

“One, you can be associated sometimes rightly or wrongly. Two, there may be an interest from you in getting back into management. But once I had the initial conversations with Hibs and things progressed from there, I was consistent and strong in my desire to come here.

“I just felt as if it was the right club for me to come back to Scotland to. Once things developed, it was really a case of me trying to prove my worth to them and to get the nuts and bolts of everything agreed.

“It was pretty straightforward once we both felt we were right for each other.”

Jack hopes to be able to name his assistant within the next 24 hours with one-time Dunfermline and St Mirren defender John Potter, who was his first team coach at Sunderland, tipped for the job.

He said: “I think it’s an important first step for me, someone who will understand my process and how I work. Then we will work with the people in situ.”