Hibs played Celtic just three days ago – but Jack Ross says his men will be raring to go against St Johnstone this evening.
The Hibees drew 2-2 with Celtic on Saturday. They found themselves 2-0 up through Jamie Murphy and Kevin Nisbet but late goals from Odsonne Edouard and Diego Laxalt rescued a Celtic point.
Ross says Hibs can take plenty of encouragement from the match: “Once that immediate emotion of disappointment of conceding so late subsides, they do take a step back and appreciate the good things they did within the game.
“That’s not discounting the disappointment at not winning the game in the position we found ourselves in. But we stressed the importance of them not dwelling on it. And, since they have been back in on Sunday and Monday, there is more evidence that they feel confident given how they played for large parts of the game
.“If we take the two games against the Old Firm at Easter Road in isolation, we have drawn both games 2-2. Because we come from behind against Rangers, there’s a different feeling after the game than Saturday.
“But you only earn one point in each of the games, the reward is exactly the same. There were large parts of the game which were encouraging for us, particularly when we look at the two performances and results against Celtic. To learn from the first one and then play well and take something from the second game shows there is improvement.”
Despite the physical and mental toll Saturday’s match with Celtic would have taken on his players, Ross says they will be fit and ready for the visit of St Johnstone tonight, a chance to go third at stake.
“We spent more time without the ball than with it, and sometimes that points to you having to do more work, we also looked quite compact,” he said. “So in some areas of the pitch we maybe did less running than normal.
“So it doesn’t always go hand in hand that the calibre of opposition will determine how hard you work in the game, there are different factors involved. But the emotional energy and concentration you use in those games is usually very high.
“But, as always, it’s just judging the players based on your naked eye first of all and feel for the group, and then seeing if it’s supported by what you get from your performance department as well.
“But for me the players over the last two days have been good. They look bright, they look lively. I think they are in a place just now where they look forward to each game.”
Another aspect of Scottish football Ross was asked to comment on was the managerial merry-go-round. It’s stalled in recent times, more than half of top-flight manager holding their position for at least 18 months.
But in recent times some have come under fire, Celtic manager and former Hibs boss Neil Lennon perhaps the most high-profile example. Ross says it’s been nice not to see so many changes, even if that may be because of the strange times we live in.
“Cynically, we didn’t have games for six months which helps you stay in a job,” said Ross. “Then maybe they are running out of money to sack people!
“I would love to think it’s that people are taking a more patient approach to it. In all seriousness, I think to have a chance to be a success at a football club you need time.
“People may assume a manager will say that as it keeps them in a job. But it’s not easy to have instant success. You need a substantial amount of time to make things a success.
“If that’s a by-product of the climate we are living in, then hopefully that is beneficial for managers and clubs as well.”