Greg Docherty arrived at Easter Road on transfer deadline day as a sweetener to convince Hibs to allow Florian Kamberi to travel along the M8 in a similar loan deal until the end of the season. He was joined by Paul McGinn and the return of Marc McNulty to Leith for a second time on loan after last season’s impressive short-term move from Reading.
All three made their bow as substitutes in the 2-2 draw with St Mirren before McGinn was inserted into the line-up for the 2-1 defeat at Ibrox. McNulty had to be content with rising from the bench in that match also, while Docherty missed out as he was unable to feature against his parent club.
Both players will be itching to get a chance from the start and BSC Glasgow should provide an excellent opportunity to improve the fitness and match sharpness of two players who haven’t been regulars at their respective clubs this season.
“Our preparation for the game will be just the same,” said the Hibs head coach. “Consistent in that we will offer BSC the same respect as we did Rangers in terms of preparation and analysis.”
Ross’ comments also left the door open for fringe players or perhaps even youngsters to get their chance. Fraser Murray is viewed as one of the brightest young prospects at the club. The 20-year-old midfielder has made ten appearances this campaign, but has yet to feature from the start. Then there’s Jamie Gullan.
The striker returned to the club in January after an impressive loan spell at Raith Rovers and made his first Hibs appearance of the campaign off the bench in the 0-0 January draw with Motherwell.
Regardless of how many changes he looks to make, Ross will trust his players to make sure there is no prospect of a cup shock, pointing to parts of the performance in the 2-1 Ladbrokes Premiership defeat by Rangers at Ibrox on Wednesday night.
The former St Mirren and Sunderland boss said: “There has got to be a trust in what the players do and are prepared to do and that is the key thing.
“Sometimes that is not an easy thing to do in football because of the emotion involved in the game.
“You can go out with the best-laid plans but emotion takes over and decision-making is affected.
“Wednesday night was a great one for us, a hugely different game but we had to have trust in what we wanted to do and we did that in parts of the game, particularly in the first half.
“Today is the same, we will prepare and know what we want to do and it is a case of trusting and if we do that we will be okay and not be caught up in anything that might happen in any part of the game.
“That is a mindset thing that grows as you get more confident in what I am asking them to do.”
This is Ross’ first Scottish Cup campaign with Hibs, the club who ended their 114-year wait for the trophy with a victory over Rangers in the 2016 final.
Ahead of the fifth-round tie at Alloa’s Indodrill Stadium today, Ross was asked if that famous day had taken the pressure off.
“Probably for some people because what Alan [Stubbs] and his squad did was to take away that hysteria and hype that went with every time the Scottish Cup started and the club progressed further in the tournament,” he said.
“For me, not really because I put myself under pressure to deliver success for the club.
“So, just because the club won the Scottish Cup recently I don’t feel under any less pressure I put on myself, because I want to do well and be successful while I’m here.
“I will feel just as much pressure to win the cup this year as I would have done if Hibs hadn’t been successful a few years ago under Alan.”