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Jack Ross: 'Ryan Porteous will bounce back from mistake'

Jack Ross: 'Ryan Porteous will bounce back from mistake'
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The defender's attempted pass out of his own box fell at the feet of Glenn Middleton, who scored St Johnstone's winner.

Hibernian head coach Jack Ross insists Ryan Porteous will learn from the costly mistake that led to Saturday's 1-0 defeat by St Johnstone.

The defender's attempted pass out of his own box fell at the feet of Glenn Middleton in the 22nd minute and the on-loan Rangers forward duly beat goalkeeper Ofir Marciano.

That proved to be the decisive moment in a game bereft of entertainment and chances.

However Ross insists the 22-year-old, who was the subject of a failed bid from Millwall during the January transfer window, will not dwell on his error.

Ross, whose side's lead over Aberdeen in third place in the Scottish Premiership has been cut to three points with two league games remaining, said: "It is just split-second decision-making that people do all over the pitch.

"When you do that closer to your own goal it sometimes has greater consequences.

"It was the wrong decision from Ryan to try to play a pass and I actually thought at first it was a bad clearance.

"It's not, he's tried to pick a pass, it was the wrong decision and we have been punished.

"Ryan cares about his football and he spends a lot of time working with myself and John Potter.

"He is prepared to take responsibility to get better but he also has broad shoulders.

"He takes criticism, sometimes wrongly, but he handles it and has matured.

"This is another time where he has to show that again.

"He has bounced back this season already and I think he will do that again."

Ross, meanwhile, is keeping his fingers crossed that striker Kevin Nisbet will return for next Saturday's Scottish Cup semi-final against Dundee United after missing the Saints match with an ankle knock.

He added: "Kevin is OK. He picked up an ankle knock against Motherwell and played on.

"But it's still irritating him and we hope that it settles for next week."

Saints, who climbed up to fifth in the Premiership ahead of Livingston, are also in semi-final action against St Mirren next Sunday.

Saints manager Callum Davidson is hoping to have goalkeeper Zander Clark, the hero at both ends in the quarter-final win over Rangers, available after he sat out at the weekend with a toe problem.

Davidson said: "I'm not sure what happened with Zander, I'll need to investigate that further.

"I think he got himself involved in the celebrations and someone stood on his big toe.

"Hopefully it's not too bad. We will need to see how it settles down next week."

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