Hibs manager Jack Ross was delighted to see his side come away with another win – and a clean sheet – after beating St Johnstone 1-0 at Easter Road yesterday, as the Hibees boss now turns his focus to a top-of-the-table clash with Rangers next weekend.
In the end, a controversial penalty from Martin Boyle was enough for the win as Ross’ side moved to within a point of leaders Rangers and into second place in the Scottish Premiership table.
Speaking after his Hibs side edged out Saints in a bruising encounter to keep the pressure on Rangers, Ross was happy to end Hibs’ hoodoo against the Perth side having failed to win against them in six attempts last season.
“We came out on the wrong end of quite a few of those last year against that particular opponent so the very obvious difference today was that we kept a clean sheet,” Ross explained.
“I think that’s important against them, especially when you look at their recent results. They’re good at that and good at going ahead and shutting the opposition out.
“For us to maintain that and hope you get a moment of quality or fortune for the remainder of the game and that’s what we got.”
Ross will now prepare his players for a top-of-the-table clash with Rangers at Ibrox next Sunday and the Hibs gaffer admits his side have had to grind out performances as a number of key players continue to get over injury and illness, meaning they haven’t been training regularly recently.
However, with the possibility of topping the table next weekend, Ross hopes the free midweek will allow him to nurse the likes of Kevin Nisbet, Boyle amd Jake Doyle-Hayes ahead of making the trip to Glasgow, adding: “All we can do is keep doing what we’re doing. We’re stretched a little bit at the moment, we have players out.
“We’ve had players who aren’t training, Kevin Nisbet, Martin Boyle, Kyle Magennis, Jake Doyle-Hayes has been suffering from the after effects of illness.
“We’re kind of just pulling it together and I do feel over the last week we have not been at our best performance wise but we’ve dug out results and that’s growing as a group.
“And I’m excited about next week. We have a brilliant game to look forward to. To go into this game at that stage of the season as a top of the table clash is indicative of how we have grown as a team.
“The incentive is for us to beat the champions at home and go top, and it’s a brilliant incentive.
“It’s good to have the clear week, it will allow us to nurse some boys back to fitness hopefully and use the time properly for other players as well.
“It’s not one or two games into the season, we’re into a decent part of the season now. We’ve had one defeat all season and that was with 10 men for the last half hour. So we have got a good team and they are finding different ways to win games.
“I thought earlier in the season we were really at it, we’ve had to dig in a bit over the course of the last weeks but that’s the sign of a team that keeps growing.”
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