Jackson Irvine and Matt Macey contract latest as Hibs manager Jack Ross weighs up priorities

Hibs boss Jack Ross has placed contract talks with goalkeeper Matt Macey and midfielder Jackson Irvine on the back burner.

With just a handful of games remaining this season, while still keen to tie up both players on new long-term deals, the Easter Road gaffer says his priority has to be realising the targets the team set themselves at the beginning of the campaign.

On Saturday, they could seal the first of those. If they can defeat St Johnstone at Easter Road and Aberdeen fail to beat Livingston, the capital side will have sewn up third place for the first time in 16 years and, if they can follow that up with a Scottish Cup semi-final win over Dundee United the following weekend, they will be on the cusp of one of the most momentous seasons in several decades.

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The club have not finished in the top three and won silverware since 1972/73 while the Leith side have not shown such consistently high levels of progress across all three major domestic competitions since they won the top division and made it to the semi-final and final of the cups, in 1950/51.

Hibs manager Jack Ross still wants to see Jackson Irvine sign a deal that will keep him at the club but says negotiations will have to wait as everyone's attention turns to the final few games of the season. Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group

“The discussions with Matt and Jackson have been ongoing but I think that the stage we are at, with so many big games to focus on, we have put things on the back burner,” explained Ross.

“We are still very keen to get these deals over the line and if our season was done by now then we would be really pushing that and focusing on getting something agreed or moving things on, but because we are still involved in so many big games, naturally, I think, our focus is on those games.

“Every conversation I have with Jackson and Matt at the moment is based on that and to ensure we get the best from the squad and from each player, that has to be my focus. I think it would be remiss of me if that wasn’t the case.

“Right now, the most important thing for me is how I get the absolute best out of everyone in these final few games. Then we can turn our attention back to the contracts and, hopefully, we will be an even more attractive proposition by then.”

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