Hibs’ Head Coach Jack Ross praised his players’ ‘excellent’ second-half display in last night’s victory over Queen of the South at a windswept Palmerston Park.

A combination of the adverse weather conditions and the artificial playing surface affected Hibs first-half display and it took a scrappy goal from Christian Doidge to separate the sides but it was a different story in the second-half. Whatever Ross said to his players worked as they came out on the front foot and created six clear-cut chances in the opening five minutes.

The Scottish Cup trophy
Photo: www.scottishfa.co.uk

Doidge added a second in the 66th minute after latching onto a superb through ball from Joe Newell then three minutes later Boyle secured the victory.

Hibs now face Stranraer in the last-16 of the tournament with a home tie against Motherwell or Greenock Morton at home as the prize.

Speaking after the final whistle, Ross told BBC Scotland: “We spoke beforehand about it being a difficult match and we got that. The weather conditions were difficult in the first-half but it settled down a little bit in the second-half.

“I think also we were playing against difficult opponents at their own stadium. You have to earn the right to get a platform to win the game. To keep a clean sheet first-half was important and then to get the goal just before half-time helped us as well.

“I thought in the second-half we were excellent. We were really really good. We created a lot and could have scored more but given the challenge we faced tonight our overall performance was excellent.

“What we had worked on and what we expected from the game was what we faced tonight. I think having that trust and patience and doing things a little bit crisper and sharper and dealing with the physicality and competitiveness of the opposition as well so being ahead at the break helped the players and allowed us to start the second-half like we did.

“Matt (Macey) didn’t have a lot to do but he was tidy in everything and that one big moment at a crucial time in the game he pulled off a big save so he can be pleased with his contribution.

“I didn’t think it was a penalty at the time and I have watched it again and I still don’t think it is. I think it was a right decision in the end. I think that’s what we are good at and we have been good at that all season.

“We are a good team when we are ahead in games because we carry that threat and counter. People say we have pace in our team and attacking intent but we also have desire to get there as well and players that can lick passes like Joe (Newell) did for Christian’s (Doidge) second goal  and players that work hard to get into that forward role and are ruthless when they get there.

“The second goal for us and the third goals are moments of real quality.

“Our cup record has been very good if you look at the number of games we’ve won and we mentioned before the game about going that one step further. That’s one game down from the five we need to win this cup so we are pleased with that.”