Jack Ross targeting European football and trophies as he insists he's at Hibs for the long haul

Jack Ross is targeting regular European football and silverware as he insisted he's at Hibs for the long haul.
Jack Ross is unveiled as the new head coach of HibsJack Ross is unveiled as the new head coach of Hibs
Jack Ross is unveiled as the new head coach of Hibs

The former Alloa and St Mirren boss signed a three-and-a-half year deal at Easter Road last week, a little over four weeks after being relieved of his duties by Sunderland.

Speaking today for the first time since succeeding Paul Heckingbottom in the Hibs hot seat, Ross laid out his short and long-term goals for the Capital club, telling Sky Sports: "Obviously the short-term target is to climb the league.

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"The position we are in at the moment, we want to improve upon that and if we can get there and improve that by at least the end of this calendar year, then it gives us a platform for a more successful second half of the season.

"Beyond that, I think Hibs is a club that should always be challenging for the top four, seeking to qualify for European football and challenge for domestic honours in terms of cups.

"I know the club has done that in recent years, and done it well under previous managers, so it's just making sure we can do that year after year.

"That's the challenge that lies ahead for me."

No stepping stone

Despite signing a lengthy contract, Ross will be the longest-serving Hibs boss since Alex McLeish if he stays for the full three and a half years.

But the 43-year-old, who is hoping to reunite with John Potter after the pair teamed up at Sunderland, isn't planning a brief stay in Edinburgh, insisting: "I want to be here for a number of years. I'm not here to use it as a stepping stone or a platform.

"I want to be a successful Hibs manager and hopefully be here long-term.

"My last job was at a club with a high-frequency change of manager and I think I was the longest-serving since Steve Bruce (Sunderland manager from 3 June 2009 until 30 November 2011) so I think I did okay in that respect.

"I could have been there for longer but certainly the ambition [at Hibs] is to be here for a long time."

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Having faced the Easter Road side as a player and a coach, Ross insisted he was well equipped to handle the expectations from the fans.

"The challenge is having to win football matches, as a manager and a club. Supporters want that but there are demands at certain clubs for how you do it," he explained.

"It's not like I'm not familiar with [Hibs], I've been here often enough as an opposition player, coach and manager. I've seen some really good sides so it's up to me to make sure I can provide a side that can satisfy the demands of the supporters."

Natural fit

Ross also admitted the job had felt like a "natural fit" from very early on as he talked up the "good things" in place at Hibs.

He continued: "From the initial conversations I had with Leeann [Dempster, chief executive], Graeme [Mathie, sporting director] and Ron [Gordon, chairman], I got a good feel from them, and I think that's important, and then progressed to more formal discussions in terms of what I could hopefully offer the club.

"There are a lot of good things in place at this club, whether it's the training ground, or the stadium, and how they do things in general.

"There are a lot of things behind the scenes that people don't see that are very good and very positive and I feel that it's a good fit.

"Ultimately the proof will be in the pudding in terms of what I can produce and results on the pitch but it just felt very natural from very early on."