Jack Ross has hailed the likes of Stevie Mallan and Rangers loanee Jamie Murphy after their efforts in Hibs’ home League Cup win over Dundee – which sets up a League Cup home tie with Dundee.
The Hibees won 4-1 on Sunday afternoon, Mallan getting the first whilst Kevin Nisbet, Jamie Gullan and Melker Hallberg added the others, Martin Boyle and Hibs’ Rangers loanee providing three of the four assists.
Ross was pleased with Boyle, Mallan and Murphy in particular after the match: “Stevie [Mallan’s] goal is something that I’m obviously very familiar with, because I’ve worked with him before and encourage him to do so. And again, he was one of those that had an opportunity today and he did himself no harm.
“The thing with Jamie, I think it’s been a bit stop-start for him, but we are challenging him to score and provide assists – that’s why we worked hard to bring him to the club.
“I think it’s about getting a consistent run of games for him and undoubtedly he will keep doing what he did today and create opportunities and I think he’ll get on scoresheet soon.
“We’ve got players who have got that flexibility playing different roles and I thought he [Boyle] helped us be good in the opening 50/55 minutes of the game, but the way it was starting to open up, we thought there would be opportunities for him to get at defenders one v one with his assist record over the course of the season.
“He’s hard on himself because sometimes he doesn’t feel that he’s hit the levels he’s been at last season, but he’s provided a heck of a lot of assists this season and his contribution again was vital today.”
Now after these contributions, a last 16 tie with Dundee awaits Hibs in a couple of weeks time. Ross admits he didn’t know that such an outcome was possible.
“I rather naively didn’t know that could be a possibility,” joked Ross. “We’re at home, which is pleasing. We go into that game in a couple of weeks time having won in that manner, it obviously helps your belief.
“We were decent before the equaliser. We created a decent amount of opportunities, but the danger is that if you don’t capitalise on that, there’s only one goal in it.
“Dundee had their best spell of the game in that ten/15 minute period that they managed to equalise in, so I think the changes brought a little bit of fresh energy for us and our response the last 20 minutes was excellent. I thought we were really good in that period.”
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