NEW Hibs boss Jack Ross has targeted Europe and domestic honours as he prepares for the challenge of replacing Paul Heckingbottom at Easter Road.

The former Alloa, St Mirren and Sunderland gaffer agreed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Edinburgh club on Friday.

The team currently languish eighth in the Premiership having won just twice so far.

Ross, though, is determined to turn around the fortunes of the Leith outfit who reached the Betfred League Cup semi-final at the start of the month before being overwhelmed 5-2 by Celtic, the result that brought about the sack for ex-Leeds United and Barnsley coach Heckingbottom.

He told Sky Sports News: “Obviously, the short-term target is to climb the league.

“The position we are in at the moment, we want to improve upon that and if we can get there and improve that by at least the end of this calendar year, then it gives us a platform for a more successful second half of the season.

THE END IS NIGH…Paul Heckingbottom watches from the Hampden touchline as Celtic thump Hibs 5-2 – his last game as manager.

“Beyond that, I think it’s a club that should always be challenging in that top four part of the table, seeking to qualify for European football and to challenge for domestic honours in terms of Cups.

“It’s doing that consistently. I know the club has done that in recent years and done it well under previous managers, so it’s just making sure we can do that year after year. That’s the challenge that lies ahead for me.

“In the early discussions we had, the club want for me to be here for a number of years. I’m not here to use it as a stepping stone and a platform. I want to be a successful Hibs manager and, hopefully, be here for the long term.”

Ross was sacked by the English League One outfit in October after fewer than 18 months in charge in Wearside, despite guiding them to the play-off final last season.

The 43-year-old was dismissed with the side sixth in the table and when asked about his time at the club, he answered: “I think it was a brilliant, but hugely challenging job.

“It is a fantastic football club with big expectations and as a coach l learned to work with players who had played at various levels of the game and then how to manage the expectations of a huge fanbase.

“During the time I was there, I learned a huge amount and I enjoyed it immensely. Ultimately, I think you want to leave a club feeling like you’re a better manager than when you went there and I believe that’s the case and it’s about showing that now I’m at Hibernian.”

Ross expects to appoint Sunderland coach John Potter as his assistant later this week, before taking charge of his first game at home to Motherwell on Saturday.



About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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