'Doubly disappointing': Hibs boss Jack Ross makes penalty admission but insists call is 50-50

Hibs manager Jack Ross was adamant that his team did not deserve to lose to Rangers but admitted that while the penalty that swung the outcome in the Ibrox side’s favour was a soft one, it is one he would have been claiming for at the other end.

Hibs manager Jack Ross during a cinch Premiership match between Hibernian and Rangers at Easter Road, on December 01, 2021, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“The time John [Beaton, the referee] took to give the penalty actually gave me encouragement, because you’re thinking he’s maybe not sure.”

But, the spot kick was given and Kemar Roofe converted to suckerpunch a Hibs side who had competed well but did not create enough of an end product to really trouble Allan McGregor in the visitors’ goal.

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It was once again Ryan Porteous who was centre-stage, as the Hibs player deemed to have felled Ryan Kent.

Hibs' Ryan Porteous protests the award of a penalty to referee John Beaton during a Cinch Premiership match between Hibernian and Rangers at Easter Road, on December 01, 2021, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

“Ryan was adamant he pulled out and there was minimum contact,” said Ross. “But, I would agree. It’s 50-50. I would claim for it in the opposition box. But I think it’s 50-50 and it goes against us.

“To lose the game in that manner makes it doubly disappointing.

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“I think there’s a spotlight that falls upon Ryan in this fixture and he’s handled that really well. There will be a spotlight on him again over the concession of the penalty. But, overall, he’s shown tonight why he’s such a good young centre-half.”

Just 10 days after they ousted Rangers from the Premier Sports Cup, they matched them once again, right up until that 85th-minute penalty.

“Frustration is the emotion because we didn’t deserve to lose. We were strong in all aspects, maybe just not working their keeper enough. But the strength of our performance against the champions was really good.

“We started well, Rangers improved and half-time came at a good time. But we were conceding chances on the counter, which is unusual, when you consider how dominant Rangers are in possession, usually.

“We got into good areas regularly and looked like a strong team again. We just need to turn that into a run of results and move back up the table.”

They will attempt to do that by getting back to winning ways against Motherwell this weekend.

“[Christian] Doidge will be back from suspension, although he missed a bounce game through illness [on Tuesday]. But having him back gives us that other option, which we need.”

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