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Jack Ross: Hibernian should enjoy second place – even if it’s just for 24 hours

Hibernian v Celtic – Scottish Premiership – Easter Road
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Jack Ross wants his Hibernian players to enjoy second place in the Scottish Premiership even if they might only stay there 24 hours.

Hibs leapfrogged Celtic to go behind leaders Rangers with an impressive 4-0 win at Hamilton.

Martin Boyle slammed in a penalty after 10 minutes and further goals from striker Christian Doidge, defender Paul McGinn and attacker Kevin Nesbit moved the visitors one point ahead of the Hoops – who have three games in hand and host Kilmarnock on Sunday – and 12 behind the Light Blues, who travel to Dundee United.

Ross said: “I spoke to the players pre-match about it, because for them, you talk about the feeling you get from winning football matches and enjoying that.

“So for them to look at the table tonight as they will do on their phones and see themselves in that position after 17 league games is brilliant.

“It might only be for 24 hours but it’s just a reflection of how well they have done this season so far.

“You don’t get to that position after this number of games without being a good team.

“It is just making sure they can replicate that over the second half of the season and be relentless in their work.

“So delighted with them, really pleased. It has been a good season for us but it is only been a half season so far and we want to continue that.”

Asked if it was unrealistic to expect to stay second, Ross said: “It’s a big ask because Rangers have been relentless and Celtic have games in hand.

“For us it’s more about points per game and we’ve chipped away at a really good ratio so far.”

Accies boss Brian Rice was unhappy with the result but with so many first-team players missing – Hakeem Odoffin, Marios Ogkmpoe, Will Collar, Shaun Want, David Templeton and Lewis Smith were unavailable – he was not too down about the performance.

He said: “I said to the boys in the dressing room we will play worse than that and win games.

“I am really disappointed with the result but I am not too disappointed with the performance. We were playing a really good team today.

“I am missing six starters. Nobody can argue with that. For a club our size to miss six first-team starters is massive. Absolutely massive.

“But the boys are in there and giving it their all and that is all we can ask for. They have been giving it their all for the last few weeks.

“It was a cheap penalty, a crazy penalty for us to give away and then I thought we had a good foothold in the game and then they got the second goal, which was poor defending, I thought.

“The second half we started really well. We caused them a couple of problems, got balls in but the difference is when they get balls into the box they are putting them into the net and we are not.”