Hibs manager Jack Ross has criticised pre-match speculation over the futures of some of his players as teams like Leeds United were linked and contract clauses got leaked ahead of his side losing the Scottish Cup final.

Josh Doig speculation continued as he was linked with a transfer to AC Milan, Leeds United and Watford while Martin Boyle’s £500k release clause was leaked. Jackson Irvine was also linked with a move away while some debated over whether Kevin Nisbet and Ryan Porteous were playing their last games for the club.

Hibs v St Johnstone - Scottish Cup Final

Hibs’ Doig was linked with AC Milan and Leeds United. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

St Johnstone won the cup final 1-0 to prevent Ross’ side from capping off a terrific third place finish in the Scottish Premiership with silverware. Ross said post-match: “I think that we probably didn’t do enough to win the game but I don’t think I can be critical about what the players put into it.

“I posed the question at half time that if you are going to lose the game are you going to be prepared to do it dead on your feet. And they did that. They’re a group that I’m immensely proud to put my name to. We’ve fallen short and it hurts but I’m sure we will come again.

“There is an element of it comes out of my direct control, it will be a club decision and it will be an interesting few weeks for us. Ideally we keep the squad together because I think that squad has done brilliantly this season. If it is taken away from me then I’ve just need to find the solutions again and find another group which can deliver this kind of consistency again.

“None of the players went into the game thinking it was their last game for the club, it’s something that has been hyped by media. There were headlines in the build-up to this game which I thought were a little bit naughty. But that’s what happens. We’ll see what the next few weeks bring but it’s my job, always, to put together the puzzle.”

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