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Jack Ross issues rallying call as he demands victories from Hibernian players

Rangers v Hibernian – Premier Sports Cup – Semi-Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Hibernian manager Jack Ross has challenged his side to deliver three straight wins to help them back into the top half of the Premiership – where he claims they need to be.

The Easter Road side finished third in the top flight last season but currently languish in seventh after a run of just one win from their last eight league outings.

They thought they were on their way to picking up a valuable three points against Motherwell when Kevin Nisbet volleyed them in front in the 33rd minute.

But Tony Watt continued the form that has seen him backed for a Scotland call-up when he drilled in a pinpoint leveller on the hour mark to ensure the game ended 1-1.

It means Hibs are already down on the points target set for them by Ross ahead of the match.

The capital side now face Livingston away from home on Wednesday, followed by a trip to take on St Mirren and a home match with Dundee, before the Premier Sports Cup final against Celtic on December 19.

And Ross wants maximum points to ensure his team are back challenging at the right end of the table before that trip to Hampden.

He said: “Even prior to Saturday we looked at this four-game period in the league and we wanted to win all four games. Because we know where that would propel us in terms of the league table again.

“It would take us back up into an area where we have been for a long time, but we’ve drifted away from in the last period. So, we haven’t done that with the first game, we’ve just taken a point.

“The cup final’s different but the league games are absolutely vital for us, in terms of putting us back into an area of the table where we need to be – not where we should be.”

The teams traded opportunities early on before Hibs made the breakthrough just as Motherwell were building up a head of steam.

Matt Macey had denied Dean Cornelius with an outstretched leg and Watt and been wasteful with a free header six yards out, but the opener came at the other end.

Josh Campbell’s superb diagonal ball carved open the visitors’ defence and Nisbet volleyed expertly beyond Liam Kelly.

Motherwell’s equaliser then came against the run of the play in the 60th minute.

Hibs failed to clear their lines and a loose ball fell for Watt, who lashed in off the post from the edge of the area.

Campbell hit the crossbar and had one shot cleared off the line, whilst Nisbet also had an effort cleared from the goalmouth and saw Kelly cling on to a late opportunity.

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander admits he is thrilled with Watt’s current form after he made it two goals from two games and took his season’s tally to nine in the league.

He said: “It’s not about more. He doesn’t have to start scoring hat-tricks or whatever after that.

“He’s just got to have that steady consistency about how he approaches the games, which I feel he’s finding, and how he trains, which he definitely has found.

“Those put together go into consistent performances and his goalscoring record.

“He had a bit of a lean patch just before this week but his performances for the team have been just as good and that, for me, is the most important thing.

“But we know if we can get our play into certain areas, and get him into certain areas, he can score goals.”

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