Jack Ross has revealed there was always a firm desire on his part to join Hibs, despite reports he also held talks over the currently vacant post of Hearts manager.
“I was in a position where I was out of work and two really big jobs became available at the same time in Scotland,” said Ross, who was once on the coaching staff at Tynecastle.
“One, you can be associated sometimes, rightly or wrongly. Two, there may be an interest from you in getting back into management. But once I had the initial conversations with Hibs and things progressed from there, I was consistent and strong in my want to come here.”
“Graeme [Mathie – Hibs’ sporting director] would emphasise that,” Ross, who has signed a three-year deal at Easter Road, added. “I just felt as if it was the right club for me to come back to Scotland to. Once things developed, it was really a case of me trying to prove my worth to them and get the nuts and bolts of everything agreed. It was pretty straightforward once we both felt as if we were right for each other.”
Ross stressed he has not been diminished by his perceived failure at Sunderland, where he was 90 minutes away from securing promotion to the Championship last season.
He left five weeks ago after a defeat by Lincoln City left the side sixth in League One. His win percentage of 51 per cent is the second highest of any permanent manager at the club since the 19th century.
“I was not burned by the experience at Sunderland,” he stressed. “We were not in a particularly bad run of form.
“Overall we had a record that was really positive in challenging circumstances. It is a big club that has come through a difficult period and is still trying to find its identity, if you like, moving forward.”
John Potter, his assistant at Sunderland, is expected to join him at Hibs today. Otherwise, Ross said he would take his time assessing the squad. Former Hibs midfielder Dylan McGeouch, pictured, is currently out of favour at Sunderland and has been linked with a return to Easter Road.
“Sometimes it’s not just good players being available, you have to make sure how they would positively affect the balance of the squad as well,” he said.