Hibs manager Jack Ross has hailed Kevin Nisbet for his response to a failed winter move to English Championship side Birmingham City.

Aitor Karanka’s side lodged a sizeable seven-figure bid for Nisbet but it didn’t come to fruition, despite the forward handing in a transfer request. He scored his first goal since January on Saturday as Hibs beat Ross County 2-1 in Dingwall, moving them six points clear in third place in the Scottish Premiership and closer to Europa League football.

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Kevin Nisbet scored for Hibs against County. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Birmingham City meanwhile were beaten by Bristol City, leaving them in a Championship relegation fight. Ross has been pleased with Nisbet and understands everything he experienced completely, the striker Hibs’ top scorer this term after a move from Dunfermline to Easter Road last summer.

He said: “Kevin is a young man who has had a fairly steep upward curve in his career. The rewards that are on offer on the other side of the border are fairly significant. For any individual that is going to be head-turning. There was never any issue – I was still supportive of what he had to consider.

“It would have been remiss of me not to be. But in terms of his reaction it has been really good. Kevin is just desperate to play. He was subject to significant interest. For a young player, that was head-turning but there was never any issue for either Kevin or the club.

Kevin Nisbet was tempted by the Championship.

Birmingham City tried to sign him. (Photo by Mark Scates/SNS Group via Getty Images)

“He knows he can be part of a team that finishes third. He’s edging towards 15 goals and towards top scorer in the league. If he does that, I’m sure there will be opportunities again.”

On the 2-1 win over County, Ross says it’s a big one in Hibs’ push for third: “In the second half the game becomes open. You might say it wasn’t pretty, but I thought we were excellent in the first half, really dominant.

“We’ve not been brilliant this season at coming from behind in games, so to do that, with the reaction we showed, is pleasing. The whole lead up was that this is the biggest game of the season for us. Now the next one becomes the biggest game, there’s still a lot to do.”

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