Hibs boss Jack Ross: It’s something I would like to hear and read more about

The success of the Scotland men’s national team in reaching a major finals for the first time since 1998 should serve as a source of inspiration to Hibs players and players throughout the Scottish leagues, according to Easter Road manager Jack Ross.

Scotland's players celebrate after winning the Euro 2020 play-off qualification match against Serbia.
Scotland's players celebrate after winning the Euro 2020 play-off qualification match against Serbia.

Of the 11 players who started against Serbia on Thursday night, all but Scott McTominay had worked their way up to that level via the SPFL, while Steve Clarke, the man who guided them, had been operating in the Premiership prior to taking on the role.

“It’s something I would like to hear and read more about,” said Ross, who has revealed that he would like the job of Scotland manager one day.

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“I enjoyed Thursday night because I just thought for the 90 minute part of the game Scotland were really good – really, really good. That’s because, if you look at the players we have, they are all good players and I was delighted those good players showed the level they are capable of performing at.

National heroes John McGinn, Andy Robertson and Declan Gallagher have all worked their way up from the lower ranks of the Scottish game. Photo by Nikola Krstic/SNS Group)

“They got their reward in the end, albeit it took a little longer.

“So many of them have come through different pathways as well. Whether that’s Callum [McGregor] coming through Celtic’s youth system or Ryan [Christie] or John McGinn or Kenny McLean who have come through at provincial clubs to progress, to Lyndon Dykes, who has played in the lower leagues in Scotland. There are brilliant stories with so many of them and it is a very positive reflection upon our game.

“I hope all levels of the game embrace that and we remind ourselves of it.

“Undoubtedly the black clouds will come in at some point and it would be good if we recognise we have a good product and we have a lot of good people involved in all aspects of our game. I think we need to talk that up.”

Fuel Hibs players’ desire

That route to Euro qualification should also fuel the desire of the players in his own Hibs squad, he said. Current Scotland midfielder John McGinn broke into the national team while at the Leith club and Paul Hanlon, along with Paul McGinn, was a late call-up for the last round of Scotland fixtures and gained his first cap, while Ryan Porteous has featured in a couple of recent squads.

With a major finals looming, Ross acknowledges the allure of inclusion is greater than ever.

“It’s something they will use. They’ve had a taste, what they mustn’t do now is believe it is not a possibility.

“There will be opportunities that arise and the only way you can make sure you are in a position to take them is by playing consistently well at club level.

“So it’s something the players will use but equally it’s something I will use when I have individual discussions with them and I would be delighted if they saw that as a potential goal for them.

“And if they don’t achieve it hopefully that will be down to the strength of the other options Steve [Clarke] has as opposed to them falling short through their own performance levels.”

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