Jack Ross hails Stevie Mallan's ability after two-goal blast against Brora Rangers
Two goals in the opening 11 minutes of this match suggested it would be an easier evening than transpired.
The fact that they came from Stevie Mallan was a positive for Hibernian manager Jack Ross but the fact his team did not use that as a springboard and wrap up a far more convincing victory was a minor disappointment.
A team of players who had been promoted from the fringes and offered the chance to make their mark, they allowed the tempo to drop and when Brora Rangers got a goal back, it made for a more tense finale than was necessary.
“I don't think it was a nervous end but it was more anxious than it should have been.
“We were still in control although I was a little bit frustrated with the second-half performance.
"Equally, we had a lot of players on the park who hadn't played a lot this season and it was nice to get them on the park and part of the team.”
Mallan had had to be patient, After an injury lay off and lockdown, he has had to bide his time as the men in possession of the starting berths have been impressive out of the blocks this season. But Ross admitted that the midfielder had performed well.
"Stevie contributed two goals and an assist for the third but that is what Stevie has,” he added.
"He has that ability to create and score from the middle of the pitch and he has been unfortunate this season [not to play more] because we have used the fewest number of players in the Premiership.
"That has been testimony to our consistency in the league but Stevie has continued to train well and his performance was good tonight.
"Jamie Gullan is another example of a player who did as much as they could do tonight in terms of their own performance.
"I don't put undue pressure on players to prove anything to me but they all understand there is competition.
"Joe [Newell] was out because of injury and Alex Gogic is away on international duty so it was an opportunity for them to get minutes and put in a good performance.”
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