HIBERNIAN head coach Jack Ross insists he is delighted to see Kevin Nisbet being linked with a move away from Easter Road and fully expects suitors for a swathe of his in-form stars. 

English Premier League outfit Sheffield United have been credited with an interest in the prolific marksman, who has rippled the net 12 times in 24 outings since joining the Hibees from Dunfermline in a £200,000 deal last summer. 

Although cognisant that every player has his price, Ross is composed regarding the reports given Nisbet is tied to a four-year contract and, while facing financial challenges like every other club, are not desperate to sell.

Moreover, Ross is adamant he takes a sense of pride when his charges make waves south of the border, confessing that he expects the same to happen with Martin Boyle next month. 

“It goes with the territory when you are having a good season, you accept teams looking at your players,” said Ross. “I would rather that because it is a reflection of those players doing well. 

“We had it a lot last season with Martin Boyle and we will have it again - in fact, I would be amazed if people don’t look at Martin closely because of what he provides for us. 

“There are a few aspects with Kevin - his goalscoring return but also his all-round performance levels. If you add that to the consistency at different levels over the last few years it shows someone who can adapt to the levels of the game. 

“We brought him here on a long term deal as we want him to be part of what we are doing moving forward, but if he attracts attention because of his performances then great - I would happily accept that as a problem.”

Ross added: “There may come a time in the future when the club has a decision to make. For the moment I don’t think we want to disrupt what we have, but strengthen it.”

As Ross seeks to avoid any ‘disruption’ to a squad which currently occupies fourth spot in the Premiership, agreeing a new contract with Joe Newell is high on his list of priorities. 

The English midfielder is enjoying the form of his life and was superb once more during the Hibees’ narrow defeat against Rangers on Boxing Day - and his deal expires next June. 

"I have a good relationship with Joe and he is in a good place,” continued Ross. “He is enjoying where, and how, he is playing. 

“We put trust in him and the dialogue we have had to date is positive. We are moving in the right direction. 

“For the short-term it is about him continuing that consistency, and us giving him support and confidence. If we keep doing that I am sure we can sort something.”

Ross’ next challenge on the pitch comes in the form of Ross County and a reunion with his former Falkirk boss John Hughes, having been on the books of the Bairns during ‘Yogi’s’ formative years in the dugout. 

He looks back with fondness on a period which allowed him to captain his hometown club as they swaggered their way to becoming one of the most aesthetically pleasing sides in the old SPL. 

Indeed, Ross - although a very different personality from the bombastic, outspoken new County boss - revealed that he learned plenty of lessons from Hughes and his assistant Brian Rice when he embarked on his own coaching career. 

“The part of John’s character that people know about and comment on, was there at the time. I don’t think that will ever go away,” smiled Ross. 

“But that time coincided with Falkirk being recognised as a really good football team in the league and we came very close to finishing in the top six during that period - and we were worthy of that because we had a very good side. 

“That naturally makes it enjoyable and I played with some really good individual players there. 

“The football side of it was quite intriguing. He was brave in terms of how he decided to play and put a lot of work into that. There was probably an educational aspect of that.

“Brian [Rice] was his assistant, and now a manager in his own right at Hamilton, and I’ve spoken to him about how I used a lot of work we had done at Falkirk in the early days of my coaching. 

“Then you get a foothold and start developing your own ways of working.”