Hibs’ Head Coach Jack Ross has put contract negotiations with Matt Macey and Jackson Irvine on the ‘back burner’ due to the number of big games the club have ahead of them for the remainder of the season.

Hibs face St Johnstone at Easter Road this afternoon knowing that a victory will almost certainly mean a third place finish however now that Rangers and Celtic have been eliminated from the Scottish Cup that does not provide the guarantee of European football beyond Christmas that it appeared to do.

Now whoever wins the Scottish Cup will have that guarantee and of course Hibs could achieve that if they see off Dundee United next weekend then either St Mirren or St Johnstone in the final.

Ross said: “The discussions with Matt and Jackson have been ongoing but I think that the stage we are at, with so many big games to focus on, we have put things on the back burner.

“We are still very keen to get these deals over the line and if our season was done by now then we would be really pushing that and focusing on getting something agreed or moving things on, but because we are still involved in so many big games, naturally, I think, our focus is on those games.

“Every conversation I have with Jackson and Matt at the moment is based on that and to ensure we get the best from the squad and from each player, that has to be my focus. I think it would be remiss of me if that wasn’t the case.

“Right now, the most important thing for me is how I get the absolute best out of everyone in these final few games. Then we can turn our attention back to the contracts and, hopefully, we will be an even more attractive proposition by then.”

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