Back-three risk did not work, says Hibs boss Jack Ross, but happy to be in last eight

Hibs manager Jack Ross admits the decision to play three at the back against BSC Glasgow was a risk on an afternoon when conditions threatened to make a mockery of the respective status of the teams.

Jack Ross felt the conditions tthe Indodrill Stadium were 'borderline farcical'. Picture: SNS.

As the wind swirled it was at times hard to identify who were the top-flight team and who were representatives from the Lowland 
League.

But Marc McNulty’s hat-trick underlined his quality and helped seal a home quarter-final tie for Hibs against Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Greg Docherty was the other scorer as Hibs eventually prevailed 4-1. Ross Smith’s header had brought BSC back into the game at 2-1 shortly before half-time.

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“The sloppiness of the goal we conceded made things a little more challenging but, over the piece, I am pleased with what the players have given me and the amount of chances created,” said Ross. “We went through comfortably in the end.”

He described the conditions as “borderline farcical” and reported how they had worsened during the game itself.

“I played at Broadwood for years at Clyde so I am used to playing in the wind,” he said. “In terms of the ball moving it was getting up there [with the worst I’ve 
experienced].

“When we arrived here today it was OK but by the time the game started, and as the game progressed, it became borderline farcical. But we dealt with it.”

Ross opted to play three at the back initially and included only one bona fide centre half – Paul Hanlon – in the rearguard. Although Hibs took a two-goal lead inside half an hour, the manager conceded the ploy did not work.

Steven Whittaker was brought back from midfield to make it a back four in the second half and Hibs scored twice in the last 20 minutes to ease any fears.

“I actually don’t think it worked, to be honest,” said Ross, when asked about the initial formation. “OK, so we were still ahead in the game but I thought we were better when we went back to a back four.

“Conditions probably didn’t help what we wanted to try to do. But it was an opportunity to try that. Obviously, we went a bit bold only having one centre-half on the pitch.

“We took that gamble in terms of what we thought we would get through the game and thankfully it paid off, albeit we had to 
tweak it.”