Hibs boss Jack Ross starts to identify signing targets

Hibs midfielder Stevie Mallan gets loose during training at East Mains ahead of the match away at Ross County. Picture: Bruce White/SNS
Hibs midfielder Stevie Mallan gets loose during training at East Mains ahead of the match away at Ross County. Picture: Bruce White/SNS
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Hibs boss Jack Ross will use the downtime between games in the club’s upcoming heavy schedule to begin identifying January window signing targets.

Ross has been concentrating on ensuring Hibs started moving up the league since his arrival last month. Two wins and a draw in his first three matches have convinced him there’s no rush to change things and his settled team selection has reflected this. But he knows there will come a time when reinforcements will be required. Hibs continue an arduous run of festive period games against Ross County in Dingwall tomorrow night.

“We have a fairly comprehensive recruitment team at the club in terms of how they look at data and information, which is an advantage for a manager,” said Ross.

“I have had various circumstances in terms of support around me (at previous clubs) and, initially, in the first couple of games my sole focus only wanted to be on what I had here and whether I would be able to get the best out of them in these initial games. But, certainly, in the coming days I might have more time to come up with that (a list of targets). It is difficult when you are in the midst of this run of games but, equally, a lot easier when you have the support I do around the club as well.”

Ross will consult with sporting director Graeme Mathie, among others. The head coach has been conservative in his approach so far. He has picked the same XI in his first three games and used the same three substitutes as well.

Keeping those not currently featuring content is a problem he welcomes. He has been posted by the return of David Gray and Darren McGregor after long term injury. Both are now back in training with McGregor set to play in today’s Reserve Cup clash against St Mirren after being frustrated by the recent cancellation of two bounce matches. He has not featured since August.

“It just strengthens our squad,” said Ross. “David trained today.

You can’t over-estimate how important those types are. Those who are vocal are a bit more of a dying breed. So to have that voice on the training pitch is a big plus for us.

“Darren has been training but once he gets a game out the way tomorrow he will be back available as well.

“He can offer experience and an absolute hunger for Hibs to do well, that’s very obvious to say. Just to have him back available in the squad gives us some flexibility – he has played in back threes and back fours throughout his career.”