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Sport: Hibs social-media wailing, Jack Ross critics: This was such an important win for many within Easter Road

Jack Ross calls on SPFL to ease Hibs' fixture schedule ahead of Premier Sports Cup Final

  Jack Ross calls on SPFL to ease Hibs' fixture schedule ahead of Premier Sports Cup Final Hibs manager Jack Ross has called on the SPFL to ease his team’s fixture list next month and ensure the Premier Sports Cup Final is not diminished as a showpiece occasion for the governing body. © Hibernian manager Jack Ross celebrates at full-time after his team defeated Rangers 3-1 in the Premi... As Ross celebrated Hibs’ 3-1 semi-final victory over Rangers at Hampden, he also turned his attention to the crammed schedule they face after the covid outbreak among his squad saw their last two Premiership games postponed.

Social media is never truly an accurate gauge of how a whole fanbase is feeling, but there was a particular incident on Twitter last week which caught the eye.

  Hibs social-media wailing, Jack Ross critics: This was such an important win for many within Easter Road © The Hibs players celebrate with their fans after the 3-1 win over Rangers at Hampden.

Hibs club captain Paul Hanlon was handed a new contract, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2024. The 31-year-old has won the Scottish Cup with Hibs, played more than 400 matches, scored crucial goals in derbies and been capped by his country while at Easter Road. Yet the news that he was prolonging his stay at the club was greeted with gnashing of teeth and, in some instances, wailing.

Jack Ross questions 'peculiar governance' of SPFL after Hibs and Celtic handed ninth December fixture

  Jack Ross questions 'peculiar governance' of SPFL after Hibs and Celtic handed ninth December fixture Hibs manager Jack Ross has questioned the “peculiar governance” of the Scottish Professional Football League after his side were handed an extra game in December despite already flagging concerns over a fixture pile-up. © Hibs head coach Jack Ross on the touchline during the Premier Sports Cup semi-final win over Rangers... Ross had mentioned after Sunday's Premier Sports Cup semi-final win over Rangers that help from the SPFL for both Hibs and Celtic would be "nice" given their fixture load. Both teams have rearranged cinch Premiership fixtures in the midweek before the final at Hampden on December 19.

Hanlon is a defender most clubs in Scotland would like to have in their ranks. Perhaps familiarity has blinded some Hibs fans of his talents: a solid, dependable left-sided centre-half who can play in a three or a four, comfortable with the ball at his feet and a role-model for his peers.

Or perhaps the angst among Hibbies was bigger than just a player signing a new deal. After all, they hadn’t watched their team play for almost a month, and before that the four matches they had attended had ended in defeats by Celtic, Aberdeen, Dundee United and Rangers. A serious outbreak of Covid-19 shut down Hibs’ training base and forced the postponement of cinch Premiership matches away at Ross County and Livingston. After a good start to the season, there was a feeling it might all be unravelling for Jack Ross and his players, the situation no doubt not helped by Hearts’ strong start to the campaign.

Hibs youngster Josh Campbell on cementing a first-team place and 'proving his point' against Rangers

  Hibs youngster Josh Campbell on cementing a first-team place and 'proving his point' against Rangers He has had to be patient. He has had to prove himself. But after sampling the buzz of victory as a Hibs first-team player on the big stage at Hampden, Josh Campbell is thirsty for more.So walking out at the national stadium in front of 45,000 for Sunday’s Premier Sports Cup semi-final against Rangers was the biggest moment in the 21-year-old midfielder’s young career.

  Hibs social-media wailing, Jack Ross critics: This was such an important win for many within Easter Road © Jack Ross shows his delight after the win over Rangers.

Football can change so quickly, though. Hibs came out of cold storage on Sunday and scorched Rangers to reach the Premier Sports Cup final. Three first-half goals from the talismanic Martin Boyle floored their groggy opponents at Hampden. A rare defensive mishap allowed Rangers an opportunity to come back off the canvas but, at 3-1, Hibs stood firm, absorbing some admittedly meek Rangers blows and booking a date with Celtic next month.

If ever a club needed this sort of pick-me-up, it was Hibs. While far from being a crisis point, after finishing third in the league last season, reaching the Scottish Cup final and League Cup semi-finals, the expectation was to reinforce their position as Scotland’s third-best club. Four losses on the spin had put some pressure on manager Ross, who is never far away from criticism from an element of the support who find it hard to forgive last season’s two Hampden losses to St Johnstone, plus the delayed 2019/20 Scottish Cup last-four defeat by Hearts.

Hibs to review Ross County red cards as Jack Ross raises questions over Doidge and Boyle dismissals

  Hibs to review Ross County red cards as Jack Ross raises questions over Doidge and Boyle dismissals Angry and frustrated, Hibs manager Jack Ross says he will review the footage of Christian Doidge’s sending off before deciding whether to appeal the Welshman’s red card and the sending off of Martin Boyle. © Hibs manager Jack Ross during the 1-0 defeat to Ross County in Dingwall. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / ... The dismissals capped a disappointing night for the Easter Road team, who had been looking to take the weekend cup form into the league. Instead they made it five league defeats on the bounce as Ross County recorded their first Premiership home victory of the season.

  Hibs social-media wailing, Jack Ross critics: This was such an important win for many within Easter Road © The Hibs fans enjoyed their evening at Hampden.

It was therefore timely that Hibs issued a reminder that they have not turned into a bad team overnight. Their performance against Rangers was exceptional. Boyle grabbed the headline for hat-trick but Kevin Nisbet’s intelligent link-up play helped, full-backs Josh Doig and Chris Cadden bombed forward to support while never being found wanting defensively, while youngster Josh Campbell – handed his first start – did not look out of place alongside his more cultured midfield peers of Joe Newell and Jake Doyle-Hayes, the latter rarely wasting the ball.

And at the back, there was Hanlon marshalling the team and defending magnificently, save for a tackle on 14 seconds on Joe Aribo that resulted in him being booked. Hanlon is not the sort of player who will be on social media poring over all the comments fired his way, but his performance shut up his critics. Alongside him, Paul McGinn was superb but Ryan Porteous, the 22-year-old who has suffered at the hands of Alfredo Morelos and Rangers beforehand, must be singled out. His aggressive, whole-hearted style unfairly wins him as many friends and enemies, but Porteous kept Morelos very quiet and he was on the end of most crosses. Ross is a big supporter of his young centre-half and it won’t be long before he gets his first Scotland cap, having been involved in a couple of Steve Clarke’s squads.

Is Kevin Nisbet facing a 'Christian Doidge moment' as Hibs striker looks to rediscover scoring touch?

  Is Kevin Nisbet facing a 'Christian Doidge moment' as Hibs striker looks to rediscover scoring touch? No Hibs fan will need reminding of where, when, and indeed how, Christian Doidge got off the mark for Hibs. A treble against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park a little over two years ago sparked the Welsh striker into life and he hasn’t looked back since.Kevin Nisbet didn’t have the same issues at the start of his Easter Road career. An assist on his competitive debut was followed up with a hat-trick against Livingston in West Lothian. However, with Doidge sidelined for most of the season so far there has been more pressure on the Scotland internationalist in front of goal.

Ross must be hailed for this result. His big-game record was put under the microscope ahead of Sunday. Two losses at Wembley with Sunderland, three Hampden defeats against one win is admittedly not the best of records, but one can argue – rightly – that it is better to have been in those positions rather than exiting knock-out competitions early on. The Hibs manager got his tactics spot-on. The 3-5-2 formation allowed his midfield to dominate Rangers and pushing Boyle right up front exposed the lack of pace on the turn in the Rangers defence. Playing Campbell was a gamble on paper, but the youngster’s energy in harassing Rangers’ ball-players paid off, and when 3-1 up Ross did not panic, resisting the temptation to go with one up front and subsequently maintaining Hibs’ threat.

The way the Hibs players and staff celebrated in front of their giddy supporters showed just how much this victory means to the club. There are new faces in at Easter Road. Sporting director Graeme Mathie was the last of the old guard to make way. New chief executive Ben Kensell has made some big calls already, with the appointment of Steve Kean as academy director – seen by controversial by some – and a huge restructure behind the scenes. Time will tell on whether those moves will be deemed successful, but it is a feather in the cap of this regime, under owner Ron Gordon, to reach a cup final.

Who the the referee for Celtic v Hearts, Rangers game at Hibs and each SPFL midweek match in cinch Premiership and Trust Trophy?

  Who the the referee for Celtic v Hearts, Rangers game at Hibs and each SPFL midweek match in cinch Premiership and Trust Trophy? It’s hard to move for Scottish football this week after a weekend choc-ful of fixtures, there’s a match every day this week to satisfy fans of all clubs and levels. © Referee appointments for this weekend's Scottish fixtures Following Monday night’s conclusion of the Scottish Cup third round, when Darvel made the trip north to Brechin City for their televised game, the fourth round draw – including Rangers, Celtic, holders St Johnstone and all the cinch Premiership sides was made. © Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Kick off 7.

  Hibs social-media wailing, Jack Ross critics: This was such an important win for many within Easter Road © Hibs chief executive Ben Kensell arrived in the summer.

It would be a stretch too far to say this result was a once-in-a-generation Hampden victory for Hibs given they have vanquished Rangers at the national stadium three times in the past 17 years in cup competition, but the jubilation at full time emphasised how important a win this was for the club and its fanbase, offering the platform for an exciting end to 2021 as they embark on a hectic period of 12 matches in 41 days.

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What channel is Hibs v Rangers on? Match info, kick-off time, TV details .
It is just ten days since Hibs defeated Rangers in the Premier Sports Cup semi-final at Hampden Park. © Hibs defeated Rangers just last month in the Premier Sports Cup. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group) They meet in the cinch Premiership at Easter Road as the visitors look to gain revenge for the 3-1 defeat..Hibs were deserved winners at Mount Florida with Martin Boyle netting a hat-trick. The Australian international is available once more for Jack Ross after missing the weekend’s win over St Johnstone due to suspension.

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