Hibs manager Jack Ross has admitted that his side were “lazy, slow and selfish” against Dundee United yesterday as the Arabs strolled to a 3-0 win at Easter Road to leapfrog the Hibees and take third place in the Scottish Premiership.
The defeat saw Hibs slip to fifth – the first time they’ve been outside the top four in over a year – and Ross challenged his players to show a response this week, calling yesterday’s showing the “worst version” of his side.
Ross admits United were good value for their win as the Cabbage dropped “way below the standards” expected, saying: “It was the worst version of ourselves.
“We strive a lot to be the best version but today we were lazy, slow and selfish in our play. When you do that you produce that type of performance and subsequently the result.
“I’ve no qualms over the result. We deserved to lose the game and we deserved to lose it in that manner. It was way below the standards we’ve been at for a long time, and now we’ve got to respond to that.
“If I could provide an immediate answer then we’d all be geniuses. It was just way below the standards we’ve been at and have been fairly consistently.
“As I said, it was the worst version of ourselves and subsequently that’s why we were on the end of that type of result.”
Despite the performance being out of character for Hibs, Ross insists that shouldn’t mean there isn’t criticism as he took his share of the blame for the defeat.
The Easter Road side face a trip to Aberdeen next weekend and, while Ross can’t change anything about yesterday’s game, he aims to spend this week fixing what went wrong.
With last season’s third place finish in the league the benchmarn for this campaign, the Hibs boss wants his players to respond to the 3-0 defeat in the right way.
“It’s not (like us) but it shouldn’t deter from us getting criticism – and I mean we because it’s always my responsibility and my preparation, instruction and team selection,” Ross added.
“I don’t want us to be a team that thinks that’s okay. The driver for me is to make us a Hibs team that consistently finishes in the area of the table we did last year – and doesn’t just have one season like that and then drifts.
“If we produce that kind of performance we will drift. But we’ve received a lot of plaudits and deservedly so – and on the back of this we’ll take a lot of criticism and deservedly so.
“It’s the way in which we respond to that, both as staff and players that is important. You always come to crossroads in the season unless you are lucky and win every week.
“I have had loads of them in my career, even since being here. You choose the path you want to take.
“We can’t affect this defeat but we can do something at Pittodrie next week.
“Over the course of the week we have to make sure we get back to producing performances we have done.”
NTOF now offers a YouTube channel featuring exclusive interviews, post-match discussion, in-depth debate, and much more – LIKE and SUBSCRIBE and don’t miss any of our videos.