Jack Ross admits changing Hibs’ formation was a risk

Easter Road boss vindicated after pushing Martin Boyle out wide and including Christian Doidge

Hibs boss Jack Ross patrols the touchline at the Tony Macaroni Arena. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS
Hibs boss Jack Ross patrols the touchline at the Tony Macaroni Arena. Picture: Ross MacDonald/SNS

Jack Ross says Kevin Nisbet has made an outstanding early impression at Hibernian, and the Easter Road manager is delighted to see him get off the mark.

The striker scored a hat-trick in a comprehensive 4-1 win over Livingston, his first competitive goals for Hibs following his summer move from Dunfermline Athletic.

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“I’ve been really pleased with how Kevin has settled in,” said the Hibs manager. “He’s made a big impression with everybody from the first time he trained with us.

“People were impressed with how good a player he was. He played well last week for me as well and played a big part in the first goal. But because he didn’t score, some people judge him on that. So to score and then go on to get a hat-trick is brilliant for him.”

Ross admitted it was a risk to change the team from last week by moving Martin Boyle to a wider role to accommodate Christian Doidge in attack. But with Doidge also getting on the scoresheet the Hibs boss felt vindicated.

“You do something like that as a manager and it doesn’t work and you get criticised. And it’s the same with in-game changes. Such is the nature of the beast nowadays,” Ross added.

“But we struggled here last season and Livingston’s record here overall is brilliant. So we looked long and hard at it and picked a team that we felt would deal with them in possession and then let us do what we wanted to do when we had the ball.

“We wanted to get the ball wide and into the box and to do that you really need two strikers on the park. On another day it might not have worked but today it worked a treat for us.”

Livingston manager Gary Holt said: “We were not good enough, simple as that.”

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