Jack Ross calls on SPFL to ease Hibs' fixture schedule ahead of Premier Sports Cup Final

Hibs manager Jack Ross has called on the SPFL to ease his team’s fixture list next month and ensure the Premier Sports Cup Final is not diminished as a showpiece occasion for the governing body.

Hibernian manager Jack Ross celebrates at full-time after his team defeated Rangers 3-1 in the Premier Sports Cup semi-final at Hampden. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Hibernian manager Jack Ross celebrates at full-time after his team defeated Rangers 3-1 in the Premier Sports Cup semi-final at Hampden. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

As Ross celebrated Hibs’ 3-1 semi-final victory over Rangers at Hampden, he also turned his attention to the crammed schedule they face after the covid outbreak among his squad saw their last two Premiership games postponed.

As it stands, Hibs have to play seven league matches in the build-up to their return to the national stadium for the final against Celtic on December 19.

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“It would be nice if the SPFL helped us out a little bit in the lead up to the final,” said Ross. “But I won’t hold my breath in the coming days.

Hibs' hat-trick hero Martin Boyle clutches the match ball as he is held aloft after the 3-1 win over Rangers at Hampden. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

“It’s a showpiece final in Scotland. It should be played between teams who are ready to play. If it doesn’t change, then we’ll deal with it.

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“It is worth coming back here as it is very different playing with that crowd compared to some of the previous occasions. We’ll look forward to the final when it comes around.”

Martin Boyle’s first half hat-trick, breaking his scoring duck against Rangers at the 16th attempt, secured a memorable triumph for Hibs and Ross who had come under scrutiny after losing their previous four games.

“We've had a tough few weeks and there has been criticism before that,” said Ross. “But I only bother about my own chief executive, my players and the bulk of our supporters.

“In two years here, we’ve finished third in the league and got to semi finals and finals - we’re doing okay.

“I trust in what we do. I trust in my staff and the players. The biggest thing for me today is that we showed we are a good side. Performances will dip with most teams.

“I don’t mean to be dismissive of any criticism because you get it. But you need to keep breaking down barriers and we’ve done that a little bit today.

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“We’ve won semi-finals before here but to do it against one of the big two means a lot and the players will grow from that.

“We’ve got a lot of league games before the final and then we’ll have to rep[eat that kind of performance against Celtic.

“But we’ll know we can handle the occasion even though the prize will be bigger. The opposition will be on a par with today.”

Ross was full of praise for Boyle who ran the Rangers defence ragged.

“For two years now he’s been great for me,” he said. “He’s growing and growing and is now a top international player for Australia. He is such a threat and playing in that position against Rangers, he always causes them problems.

“He told me yesterday that Rangers are the only team he hadn’t scored against in his career, so he picked the right time although I’m not sure I envisaged he’d score a first half hat-trick but for him it’s just another moment to cherish and look back on. Not many people score cup hat-tricks at Hampden.”

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