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THREE CHEERS FOR ROSS

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JACK ROSS is delighted with the progress that is being made at Hibs who “were probably in a relegation fight” when he took over from Paul Heckingbottom in November.

Goals from on-loan Rangers midfielder Greg Docherty and Adam Jackson earned the Easter Road men a 2-1 victory over Kilmarnock yesterday to strengthen their grip on a top six finish and leave them just five points adrift of joint-third Aberdeen and Motherwell.

Reflecting on taking over the struggling Edinburgh outfit, former Alloa, St Mirren and Sunderland boss Ross, speaking to the Evening News, said: “The team wasn’t in a great position, hadn’t had a great record throughout the season.

“I did think there were good players here and equally a good group to work with, receptive.and really keen to do well. That’s a good starting point for a manager.

“I think we have just grown steadily we have got better and looked more confident, naturally results do that, as well. I didn’t have any targets when I first came in, other than getting away from the position we were in at the beginning.

“Now we have done that, I think we can look forward to a later part of the season that could be quite good for us.”

A week which began with Hibs overwhelming minnows BSC Glasgow 4-1 to clinch a Scottish Cup quarter-final tie at home to Championship outfit Inverness Caley Thistle and continued with six points gained from victories over Ross County and Killie.

Looking back on the victory at Rugby Park where Chris Burke had cancelled out Docherty’s opener, Ross added: “Some of the stuff we played was very good and in the last half-hour we had to dig it out and be resilient and that’s something I think the team’s been asked questions about throughout the course of the season.

“I think they have grown in confidence that way to protect a lead when you have to because you are not going to dominate, particularly against good teams.

“They put us under a lot of pressure in the latter part of the game, but we stood up to it quite well. It’s been a great week, it’s been a good two or three months for us and post the winter break it’s been good, but to bang out the three wins in a tough fixture schedule and a tough away game in difficult weather conditions was pleasing.”

Next up for Ross and his resurgent team are Livingston, beaten 1-0 by Rangers at Ibrox yesterday.

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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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