Jack Ross pleased with the return of key Hibs absentee tasked with slowing Celtic's attacking prowess

Jack Ross has hailed Ryan Porteous’ impact on the Hibs team as he welcomes the young centre-half back into the fold for Wednesday night’s meeting with Celtic at Easter Road.

Ryan Porteous has been absent for the last two games due to suspension as Hibs lost to Dundee United and Aberdeen. Picture: SNS

The defender has been missing from the last two games after receiving a straight red card for a lunge on Joe Aribo during Hibs’ 2-1 defeat to Rangers at Ibrox.

Hibs were leading the match at the time and would drop their next two fixtures as well, losing to Dundee United and Aberdeen in the cinch Premiership.

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Porteous’ presence at the back has been highlighted by the six goals conceded by Hibs since his red card, though Ross also credited the 22-year-old with being a major factor in how Hibs look to attack and control possession.

He said: "I spoke in the aftermath of it about how much of his game I feel has improved and developed over the last couple of years and his performance level this season has been excellent.

"Consistent not just defensively but he is a big part in how we build the game because he is such a good passer of the ball.

"So we have missed him and we are pleased to have him back available."

Ross is expecting an open game against Ange Postecoglou's rejuvenated Celtic side, who have now won four straight matches.

He said: "They have a real attacking prowess, they are encouraged to play that way by their manager.

"They have shown that in the manner of their performances all through the season, not just recently.

"A few weeks ago I expected this fixture to be an open one and nothing has changed my mind."

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