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Jack Ross felt Hibernian did not deserve defeat to Rangers

By December 1, 2021No Comments

Hibernian manager Jack Ross insists his side deserved at least a point after they lost 1-0 at home to cinch Premiership leaders Rangers.

Hibs were undone by an 85th-minute penalty from substitute Kemar Roofe after defender Ryan Porteous was deemed to have tripped Ryan Kent.

Ross said: “Frustration is the emotion because we didn’t deserve to lose. We were strong in all aspects of the performance.

“Probably the only criticism is not working (Rangers goalkeeper) Allan McGregor enough, but overall the strength of performance against the champions was really good and we absolutely didn’t deserve not to take anything from the match.”

Porteous has been involved in several flashpoints against Rangers in recent seasons and was widely criticised after getting sent off for a foul on Joe Aribo in the previous league meeting between the teams in October.

However, Ross was full of praise for the centre-back and absolved him of any blame for the match-deciding penalty.

He said: “I think there’s a spotlight that falls upon Ryan in this fixture but tonight his performance level was really good.

“There will be a spotlight on him again over the concession of the penalty, but we will look more at the strength of his performance. I think he’s shown tonight why he’s such a good young centre-half in this country.”

Porteous protested furiously after referee John Beaton pointed to the spot.

Ross felt it was a soft award but could see why it was given.

He said: “The length of time John took to give the penalty gave me encouragement that he wasn’t going to give it because it was unusual. On first sight you might think it’s clear-cut and you would expect it to be given right away.

“Ryan was adamant he pulled out and there was minimal contact, and I would tend to agree. I think it’s very 50-50. I would claim for it in the opposition box but I think we also have a good argument to say it maybe shouldn’t have been given. To lose the game in that manner makes it doubly disappointing.”

Rangers manager Giovanni Van Bronckhorst praised his side for grinding out victory from such a tight encounter.

The Dutchman told Sky Sports: “Hibs are a good side, very well organised, so to keep a zero here is massive for us because we knew we would always get chances.

“It was a very big win. It was a tough game as we expected before kick-off. It was really close. There was a lot of physical play from both teams and not many chances.

“In the first half, we had some good moments to score. There was a great chance for (Alfredo) Morelos.

“In the second half, you could see when we won the ball we had the spaces to attack. However, we weren’t too sharp in those moments and we gave a lot of loose balls away.

“Those moments were there for both teams but luckily for us we came away with the win.”