Clean sheet as important as win for Hibs, says boss Jack Ross
Manager Jack Ross insists the clean sheet in Hibernian’s 3-0 victory over Aberdeen was just as welcome as the three points.
Hibs kept out their opponents for the first time in the Ladbrokes Premiership since clinching a narrow victory over St Mirren on the opening day of the season.
Since then Paul Heckingbottom lost his job in the dugout following a 10-game winless run.
However, a brace from Martin Boyle and Florian Kamberi strike saw the Leith side rack up their biggest league win over the Dons in exactly 51 years.
And Ross felt the defensive showing also deserved credit.
He said: “Psychologically it’s a boost because the more it gets spoken about the more it becomes something for players to be concerned about.
“It was nice to have that three-goal cushion in the last 15 minutes, it made it a little bit more relaxing but it was still good to see out that period and come away with that tangible reward of a clean sheet.
“I feel in the main no team has played through us that often in the last five games but it was nice to get that reward.”
The clean sheet also coincided with Ofir Mariano returning in goal following Chris Maxwell’s unconvincing display in last Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Ross County.
Ross insists the Israel international can be pleased with his performance.
He said: “I’ve come into the job and I’ve judged the goalkeepers as I’ve found them and they’re all good goalkeepers.
“It’s unusual when you come into a situation like that as normally you would have one further ahead than others, but they’re all good keepers. I’ve been impressed by Ofir in training, it was an opportunity for him to get back in.
“He is a very good shot-stopper and from his point of view he has taken the opportunity and that’s all you can ask.”
Aberdeen had chances to score in a tight first half through James Wilson and Sam Cosgrove and Dons manager Derek McInnes believes the scoreline did not reflect what his team contributed to the match.
He said: “From the start we were very good in the game – nice and compact.
“The game was very stretched out. We had the better of the opportunities in terms of penalty-box chances.
“We needed to show a bit more quality in the final third because we certainly got in some fantastic areas.
“It didn’t feel like a 3-0 game. The game was pretty even up until our second goal.
“We’ve been countered again for the third goal.
“Sometimes that’s the trade off when you try to get back in the game.
“The quality they have at the top end of the pitch, they put us to the sword.”