Why Dave Cormack's comparison of Hibs' Jack Ross and underfire Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass is not like-for-like
Jack Ross is one of the men Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack has been keen to drag into the debate over Pittodrie manager Stephen Glass’ future at the club.
The Hibs boss has been held up as Exhibit A in the Dons supremo’s call for patience, with Cormack saying that this time last year people were calling for change at Easter Road.
But this time last year Hibs were in the semi final of the previous season’s Scottish Cup, still on course for lengthy runs in that season’s League and Scottish Cup and were sitting near the top of the table, establishing themselves as a permanent fixture in the top four and jostling for supremacy over Cormack’s team.
That kind of tussle seems a long way off for Aberdeen at the moment, who are down in ninth, suggesting that a closer parallel would be Glass and Ross’ predecessor Paul Heckingbottom, who was sacked for loitering in areas of the league table deemed unacceptable for a club of Hibs’ stature.
It was Ross’ job to elevate them and since taking the reins, he has earned patience, immediately improving things and raising the team to greater heights than anyone else has managed in 16 years. Although the last couple of months have been tricky with injuries, illness and suspensions upsetting the rhythm and producing just two wins in the last seven Premiership matches, they still sit closer to Rangers at the top of the table than they do to Saturday’s struggling hosts, Aberdeen, who have lost five consecutive games for the first time in over a decade.
Which is why Ross offers a simple “he should try walking in my shoes, then” when asked if Cormack was correct in describing the Aberdeen job as the toughest outside Celtic and Rangers, despite there being no derby rival to contend with and a decent platform to build from following Derek McInnes’ tenure.
A win for Hibs this weekend would be a further blow to a team used to tussling for European places, and would leave them an astonishing 10 points adrift so early in the campaign.
While managerial empathy means Ross has respect for Glass, stating that “football management has always been a tough job, particularly nowadays when the want for change is frequent”, he admits he would happily add to his woes by inflicting another defeat.
“Expectation for Aberdeen is always to be challenging at the top part of the table and they've obviously done so for a number of years. I think that was the expectation on them again, as it usually is for us as well.
“It's a highly-competitive league this season and a positive run of results can change the league position dramatically. The flip side is the same can happen with negative results as well.”
Having been vying for top slot just a few weeks ago, Hibs understand that as well as any, which is why Ross was livid at last weekend’s losing display against Dundee United.
“I know the focus will be on Stepen and his team's position and where their mindset is at but for us, on the back of last week's game, it made no difference who we were playing this weekend. It's just about a performance that's much more in keeping with what we've done recently.”
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