Jack Ross delighted with new signings as he bids to avoid late departures

While much of the focus was on the Hibernian players left out of the starting line-up amid transfer interest, Jack Ross saw his recent signings catch the eye in a 2-0 victory over Dundee United at Tannadice.

Ross kept Birmingham target Kevin Nisbet on the bench along with Ryan Porteous, who was reportedly the subject of a rejected offer from Millwall.

The Hibs head coach expects both players to be with him beyond the transfer deadline although Birmingham remain keen on Nisbet.

Keeping the pair would see Hibs emerge from the transfer window significantly stronger given the contributions of Jackson Irvine and Chris Cadden at Tannadice.

Former Ross County, Burton and Hull midfielder Irvine set up both goals, picking out Darren McGregor to lash home the opener following a 21st-minute corner, and threading the ball through for Martin Boyle to double the lead in the second half.

Former Motherwell man Cadden is building up his match sharpness following his return to Scotland from the United States and caused problems down the right flank.

“Both Jackson and Chris are getting better with each passing game,” Ross said.

“I knew how good Jackson was anyway and I took a little bit of a gamble as he hadn’t played for so long, but he keeps improving with every match. He is a really good footballer who has played at the level he has for a reason.

“Chris was excellent. He is a really good signing for us. Again, he is someone who hasn’t played a lot of football regularly. But it is testament to his professionalism how he has handled these fixtures and, again, improving with each passing match.”

United suffered a second consecutive home defeat but manager Micky Mellon took positives from the return to fitness of goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist and central midfield pair Jeando Fuchs and Calum Butcher.

Mellon’s side have not won in seven matches and slipped out of the Scottish Premiership top six but they have the chance to put some space between themselves and the teams at the foot of the table when they face Motherwell and Ross County in the coming week.

“I don’t like losing a game at any time,” Mellon said. “It wouldn’t matter if we had won the past seven, I don’t want to lose games of football.

“But I have to take my emotion out of that and keep helping the group of players to keep moving forward.

“I think they did that and I was pleased with an awful lot of stuff. Fuchs and Butcher coming back in, and Siegrist. The two midfield boys were sensational.

“People would argue but in my opinion they were probably the best two players on the pitch.

“So we certainly have the players and we absolutely know at some stage it will all click and we will be fine.”

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