Jack Ross backs Kevin Nisbet to kick on for Hibernian after Ross County winner

St Johnstone v Hibernian – Betfred Cup – Semi Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Hibernian boss Jack Ross has backed Kevin Nisbet to rediscover to his early-season form after seeing the striker get back on the scoresheet in the 2-1 win against Ross County.

Nisbet’s winning goal in Dingwall broke a run of eight matches without finding the net, a far cry from the first half of the season where the former Dunfermline man topped the Premiership scoring charts.

The 24-year-old had been prolific enough that interest was being shown from over the border in England, but with rejected bids coinciding with his dip in form, some had begun to wonder if Nisbet’s focus was still at Easter Road.

Ross insists that was never a problem, however, and believes if the attacker wants to maintain that level of interest, he has to keep scoring for Hibs.

“I’m delighted he scored because that’s what he thrives on,” Ross said.

“Kevin is a young man who has had a fairly steep upward curve in his career – and rightly so.

“The rewards that are on offer on the other side of the border are fairly significant. For a young player, that was head-turning, but there was never any issue for either Kevin or the club and his reaction has been really good.

“Kevin is just desperate to play. He knows he can be part of a team that finishes third and he’s edging towards 15 goals, towards top-scorer in the league.

“If he does that, I’m sure there will be opportunities again.”

For County boss John Hughes, there was a sense of disappointment that his side could not hold on to their lead for longer.

Billy Mckay had put the Staggies in front early in the second half but Hibs went up the other end and immediately won a penalty, which Martin Boyle converted.

“I don’t think we laid a glove on Hibs in the first half and we were hanging on, but I said to them at half-time they’d been solid and we’d get a chance – and that’s what happened,” Hughes explained.

“Once it fell to Billy McKay it was in the back of the net, but you see it so many times in football, you score, celebrate and then switch off.

“I don’t know what it is but it happens all the time.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1