Ross: Enforced break was chance for Hibs to reset

Hibernian manager Jack Ross believes their enforced break due to Covid was a chance to reset their season.

The Easter Road side, who have not played a game since October, return to action on Sunday in the League Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park.

Hibs were on a run of four defeats when they were shut down and manager Jack Ross says he has taken time to work on what was going wrong.

“We’d had a really good start to the season that was tainted by that run we were on,” said the Hibs boss.

“When the break was forced on us it was about resetting to a degree, looking properly at why we had lost those games and what we needed going forward.”

The postponements have allowed some players to return from injury for the clash with Rangers, with both Kyle Magennis and Christian Doidge back in full training.

Kyle Magennis
Image: Kyle Magennis is back in full training

Ross is confident they are in good shape heading into a hectic spell in Scottish football.

“We play 10 games in 40 days so that period was about making sure we win games and finding the best way to do so. We’ve used the time as productively as we can,” he added.

Rangers will be buoyed by the arrival of new manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst ahead of the game at the national stadium.

The Dutchman won’t be in the dugout on Sunday and Ross is not expecting many surprises from the Ibrox side.

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst
Image: Giovanni van Bronckhorst is the new manager of Rangers

“They’re a team who have played in a specific way for a reasonable period of time and they’ll have a group who are well versed in doing that,” said Ross.

“I wouldn’t expect any dramatic changes from what they’ve done over the last two or three years.”

Midfielder Doyle-Hayes commits

Ahead of the match, Jake Doyle-Hayes has agreed a new four-year deal as Ross continues to lock down his stars for the long term.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Jake Doyle Hayes in action for Hibernian during the cinch Premiership match between Hibernian and St Mirren at Easter Road on September 18, 2021, in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Image: Jake Doyle-Hayes in action against St Mirren in September

The 22-year-old Irish midfielder, who joined from St Mirren in the summer, is the fourth player to sign a new contract this week after Christian Doidge, Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson also put pen to paper.

Doyle-Hayes said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling to get the deal done and I’m really happy to commit my future to the club.

“There’s been a few people signing contracts recently and the core of the group is staying together, which shows we’re all buying into the direction the club is going in and enjoying our football.

“I’ve got my head down and I’ve been working hard to impress. Hopefully, I’ll continue to do well, improve and help the club be successful.”

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