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Hibernian boss Jack Ross defends quality of Scottish football

Jack Ross File Photo
(Image credit: Steve Welsh)

Hibernian boss Jack Ross has told the critics to lay off Scottish football.

The Sky cameras have been focused on the Scottish Premiership this week while action south of the border has taken its summer break.

But the three clashes broadcast live this week have served up just one goal – leaving fans and pundits groaning over the lack of quality and drama.

Ross’ Hibees fought out a bore 0-0 draw against Motherwell at Easter Road, while Rangers goalless stalemate at Livingston was hardly a classic either.

Aberdeen finally broke the TV tedium on Thursday night with a scrappy 1-0 win at St Johnstone but Ross is fed up reading the gloomy views about the state of play in Scotland.

The Easter Road manager said: “What we are absolutely brilliant at doing in this country is focusing on the negative.

“If we can find a way to kick our own game, we will find a way to do it.

“I’ve watched in other leagues since they emerged from lockdown some brutal games – but what these leagues are better at is self-promotion.

“I’ve worked in other countries and they are better at promoting their game – that’s brutal truth of it.

“Now I’m not saying some of our recent matches have been great but we do our damnedest to focus on them than thinking that there is a lot of good things about our game.

“There is going to be an adjustment to playing in front of empty stadiums. We’ve spoken about it as a team on how we can be better than we were in the last game and a bit.

“But I think it’s also important we don’t get too caught up thinking that there’s not a lot of good things about our game other than a crowd being there and folk running about at 100mph.”

However, Ross did concede that the coronavirus restrictions preventing fans from watching their teams from the terraces has taken an edge away from the action.

“It is different,” said Ross ahead of Sunday’s trip to St Johnstone. “The build-up is different. For example, at Tannadice you change in one of the hospitality suites.

“So everything is different and having no crowd in does impact upon the game.

“There is less poor decision-making in terms of breaking structure within teams because the emotion is taken off it with there being no crowds.

“That’s maybe making games a bit tighter as players will follow instructions better. When there’s crowd noise and adrenaline flowing you can get taken away from those instructions.

“Maybe that’s what we’re seeing. The games become a bit more structured and less open.”

Ross lost out to Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes this week as the Dons secured the signing of midfielder Ross McCrorie from Rangers.

But the Leith chief is still on the lookout for someone in the mould of the Scotland Under-21 captain.

Asked if he was disappointed to miss out on McCrorie, he said: “He’s Derek’s player now so it’s none of my business.

“But we want to keep improving our squad. We weren’t able to do it with that one but we’ll keep looking.

“In the middle area of the pitch we have a lot of good footballers but they are similar types and Alex Gogic is the only one a bit different.

“I’m not saying we want another player like Alex but something a bit different – with a bit of versatility as a bonus – in that position is probably a priority for us at the moment.”