Jack Ross reveals his method for helping Hibs players find solutions to form dip

By his own admission, Jack Ross didn’t enjoy receiving criticism during his playing career. Few footballers do, of course.

Jack Ross welcomes debate - good and bad - with his players

But in a bid to turn his side’s fortunes around on the pitch the Easter Road boss is actively encouraging his squad to discuss matters with him and with their fellow players.

“When you’re being criticised aggressively in front of your peers, human nature dictates you go defensive or aggressive in your response,” Ross explained.

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“When I went into management I wanted to encourage players, and I didn’t want to shut things down.

“During my playing days you weren’t allowed an opinion or, if you did give it, you were quickly told to be quiet.

“It was the way I wanted to work and hopefully the group feel comfortable to express disappointment or frustration and that’s healthy.”

Lewis Stevenson revealed there had been a “frank and honest” discussion in the dressing room in the immediate aftermath of the Aberdeen defeat; something Ross engineered.

“I instigated the chat at Pittodrie and I asked them to do it,” he confirmed.

“I am comfortable with them having that chat but by nature I don’t think players are great at it.

“A lot of modern-day players don’t like expressing their opinions in front of the group, so you have to create an environment in which they can do it.

“There are still some who won’t do it but it helps them to share their opinion. We think being open can help find solutions.”

Not every player is prepared to give their tuppence-worth in such a relatively public forum, but Ross reveals that there is an alternative – and that both formats are vital in helping the squad turn things around.

“I encourage debate from the players. Not all players are comfortable in a group setting but I also have it on an individual basis with me.

“I don’t mind being criticised, or being told that I am wrong. I might not agree with them, but it doesn’t bother me.

“I think the boys trust in that and we have good communication. During stickier periods you need that openness as it allows you to express yourself.”

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