Jack Ross hailed his “brave” Hibernian players following a dream dugout debut at Easter Road.
The hosts turned in a free-flowing display to sweep Motherwell aside 3-1, with goals from Christian Doidge, Florian Kamberi and Daryl Horgan cancelling out Liam Polworth’s early opener.
Ross admits he was reluctant to make wholesale changes – either tactical or in terms of personnel – but he was delighted by the response to his demand for an attacking performance.
“It does help to get off to a good start – it helps to get that buy-in from the players,” said Ross, who was named as Hibs’ head coach on November 15.
“I’m pleased because there were parts of the performance which were very good.
“I’m still trying to get a feel for the players but we got little bits of information across and the players took that on board very well.
“It was hard work for them to play the way we wanted and be as brave as we wanted in forward areas, so I’m delighted.”
The win sees Hibs immediately ascend into the top-six and Ross is adamant that must be a springboard for the rest of the campaign, insisting the squad he has inherited possesses the ability to surge up the standings.
“The first starting point for us this season was to get into that [top-six] area of the table,” added Ross following his first week in the job.
“This win takes us there immediately but we need to build from that and take it forward.
“However, there are some very good players here, I’m not coming into a group that doesn’t have ability – they have lots of that.
“And it’s a good squad in terms of their willingness to listen and learn. I’m really encouraged by that and excited. We have a lot of creativity and potential in that team who can score goals.”
Motherwell had cause for grievance in the second period when Ryan Porteous appeared to haul down Polwarth in side the box, only for John Beaton to wave away the pleas for a penalty. With the score balance at 2-1 at the time, that would have been a game-changer.
However, Steelmen boss Stephen Robinson, to his credit, refused to blame that call for his side’s defeat.
Robinson said: “I can’t control that or what referees do; I can control if players stay with runners and we didn’t do that.
“Whether we should have had a penalty or not? I don’t know. But we certainly didn’t lose the game because of that. Football’s about what you do in both boxes.”
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