Hibs’ Head Coach Jack Ross insists that he will ‘accentuate the positives rather than dwell on the frustration’ after yesterday’s 2-2 draw with Celtic at Easter Road.
Normally that result would have been considered acceptable against the current champions but with Hibs 2-0 up going into the last eight minutes it felt more like a defeat when Bobby Madden blew the final whistle.
Jamie Murray opened the scoring after Kevin Nisbet’s penalty was saved by Scott Bain then the pair combined again to make it 2-0 after Murray’s flick on fell to the young striker who fired a superb half-volley into the bottom corner of the net.
Celtic continued to press forward and were fortunate to be awarded a penalty after an accidental hand-ball inside the area by Paul McGinn then in the dying second they equalised in controversial circumstances.
After being awarded a free-kick near the corner flag, Leigh Griffiths’ first effort was overhit but Madden ordered that it should be retaken after a foul on Sean Mackie.
The Hibs’ players appealed that they should be given the foul but Madden indicated that the offence had taken place before the kick was taken. Griffiths’ second effort resulted in a ‘stramash’ inside the six-yard area and off balance Paul Hanlon mishit his clearance and the ball fell to Diego Laxalt who scored from 10-yards.
After the game Ross told BBC Sportsound:”The immediate emotion for all of us and all of Hibs is frustration because we put so much into the game and we find ourselves in such a good position and then concede so late, and also the manner of the late goal because I think it’s avoidable, but we temper that with pride in how the players played in the main today, I thought off the ball they had to work incredibly hard and they did that.
“In the second half they showed moments of quality so I think it is a for me to accentuate the positives rather than dwell on the frustration we feel.
“I thought we would score again, I felt as if we were in a good place in the game. I think the penalty shifts the momentum a little bit in the game because it gives Celtic encouragement and by that time they have a lot of forward-thinking players on the pitch but in saying that, I still thought we would have seen it out.
“There are a little bit of mixed emotions at the moment, but there was a lot today we should be really pleased about.”