JACK ROSS, the Hibernian head coach, insists he has been buoyed by the potential and attacking potency he has inherited at Easter Road after immediately ascending into the Premiership’s top-six with a victory against Motherwell.

While Ross shied away from making wholesale changes to personnel, the hosts played with a freedom and swagger seldom seen from the capital club this term as goals from Christian Doidge, Flo Kamberi and Daryl Horgan cancelled out Liam Polwarth’s early opener.

Hibs also struck the post through Stevie Mallan as Ross enjoyed a dream debut in the home dugout.

While delighted by the mixture of craft and graft displayed by his new charges, Ross was keen to emphasise that the victory is a mere starting point on what he hopes will be a steady rise up the table.

“The first starting point for us this season was to get into that [top-six] area of the table,” said Ross following his first week in the job. “This win takes us there immediately but we need to build from that and take it forward; however, there are some very good players here, I’m not coming into a group that doesn’t have ability – they have lots of that.

“And it’s a good squad in terms of their willingness to listen and learn. I’m really encouraged by that and excited. We have a lot of creativity and potential in that team who can score goals.”

As well as being Ross’ first fixture in charge of Hibs, it was also his maiden game as a boss in the Scottish top-flight, having departed St Mirren for Sunderland before getting the opportunity to manage the Buddies in the Premiership.

However, Ross contends that the pre-match nerves remain the same regardless of the level.

“It was exactly the same as it was in my first Alloa game,” he smiled. “I would love to say it does but it doesn’t.

“It’s that same horrible feeling that is omnipresent as a manager.

“However, I did enjoy it. It was nice to be back in Scotland - the intensity of the game and the fixture from two good sides.

“Both teams were certainly brave, going to win the game, and that was good. But I am going to say that because we won the game!”

Alan Temple