According to a report from The Sun on Sunday (29/9; page 61), Hibernian could be interested in Sunderland boss Jack Ross should they let Paul Heckingbottom go.
Heckingbottom has endured a tough start to the season. Hibs are second bottom in the Scottish Premiership and have not won in the league since the opening day of the campaign.
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They were the team to end Celtic’s perfect start to the new season at the weekend. But it appears that the 1-1 draw may have only bought Heckingbottom time.
The Sun on Sunday (29/9; page 61) reported that the former Leeds United boss is under pressure at Easter Road. And should the board decide to let Heckingbottom go, it may be Ross who they turn to.
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The report notes that Ross is also in an uncertain situation. Sunderland sit fifth in League One, and it is suggested that the Black Cats hierarchy may end up receiving compensation for Ross from Hibs, rather than handing him a pay-off should they decide to make their own change.
Sunderland are going to be the promotion favourites for however long they are in League One. They are the kind of club that many will be backing to go straight up the moment they step foot back in the Championship.
Ross will be under no illusions that they do need to step up, particularly after last season’s play-off agony. Nevertheless, it would arguably be a surprise if he decided to head to Hibs if the chance presented itself.
As mentioned, Sunderland have the potential and stature to get back into the Premier League in the shortest time possible. It is obviously a long way off, but that is surely the end goal.
Hibs would, obviously, be able to offer a top flight role more immediately. But it would be no surprise if Ross felt that he had too much unfinished business with the Black Cats to consider a move away.