IAN MURRAY insists the Hibernian players will relish the reign of Jack Ross as they will have a manager who will ‘work tirelessly’ to bring success.
Ross was Murray’s assistant during a near-two-year spell together at Dumbarton that ended when the new Hibs boss joined the Hearts coaching staff in 2014.
The pair have remained friends since and Murray has watched his former number two go on to achieve success winning the Championship with St Mirren before suffering bitter disappointment – and the sack – at Sunderland.
And the ex-Hibs defender and lifelong supporter of the Easter Road club has backed his pal to lift the capital club out of the doldrums following Paul Heckingbottom’s departure.
The Airdrie boss, who played nearly 300 times for Hibs in two separate stints, said: “We’ve always stayed in contact even though our paths have taken different routes.
“Dumbarton was great for us but then Jack went to Hearts and not long after I went to St Mirren.
“I’m really happy for him and I’m sure he can help Hibs improve.
“Most managers are hands-on but some have different ways of doing things. Jack’s an on-the-pitch manager. Of course, he’ll trust his coaches and assistant-manager with training and bringing up ideas and asking questions. That is quite normal.
“But certainly Hibs have got a manager who will work tirelessly to improve the club, to improve the team and to improve the players, not just as a collective group but as individuals.
“So, they should look forward to working with him. He’s a smart character.”
Ross’s record at Sunderland saw him lose just 10 of 75 games in charge but some Black Cats supporters lost patience with an incredible 27 draws during his 17 months at the helm.
Murray has balked at suggestions the 43-year-old is overly cautious in the dugout but also insists Hibs fans should not be too hung up on a desire for the free-flowing, attacking football they see as their tradition.
The 38-year-old former Rangers and Scotland defender added: “I didn’t see Sunderland play but I wouldn’t suggest for a minute when I worked with Jack that there was a defensive-minded manager in there or a manager who wanted to play in a particular way.
“He’s very smart and most managers adapt to the circumstances.
“People talk about the ‘Hibs way’, I’ve heard about it for years, but the Hibs way hasn’t produced an awful lot in the last 100 years has it?
“Yes, back in the ‘50s they won leagues and they had a great team in the ‘70s, but since the early ‘80s what has there been, three cups playing the Hibs way?
“So, at some point maybe you have to say this way isn’t working or how do we change?
“Yes, we would all love to win leagues and cups playing fantastic football like Man City, Liverpool or Barcelona, but unfortunately it’s not that easy.
“I think Jack will bring a very fresh approach to the club, a fresh way of playing the game, and it will be a way the fans will appreciate, but it will be balanced.
“Yes, he will try to win every game, but they’re not going to start playing four or five up front.”