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Hibs aim to strengthen with 'two or three' January signings

Head coach Jack Ross and sporting director Graeme Mathie get to work on transfer targets.

Team: Graeme Mathie, left, with Jack Ross and Leeann Dempster
Team: Graeme Mathie, left, with Jack Ross and Leeann Dempster SNS Group

Hibernian's sporting director expects up to three new signings in January, after discussing the prospect of new recruits with Jack Ross during his head coach interview.

Graeme Mathie, who was promoted from head of recruitment last month, was heavily involved in identifying Ross as the man to lead Hibs following the departure of Paul Heckingbottom.

Mathie and Ross agree the squad, which sits just four points off the foot of the Scottish Premiership table, requires strengthening in the January transfer window.

Hibs brought in ten new players in the summer, while seven first team faces departed Easter Road.

Mathie said: "That was one of the big questions Jack and I spoke about during the interview process.

"Jack genuinely feels that we've got a talented squad here and he's looking at two or three areas to try and improve upon.

"So I think we will be looking at another two or three January additions to help us.

"That is an ongoing process so my colleagues in the recruitment department are taking that on, because I have been involved in [the head coach interviews].

"Jack will have his say on the type of players he wants and the positions he thinks are really important.

"January is just around the corner but we have got a lot of games between now and then and hopefully we will be in a strong position for the second half of the season."

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1442490-ross-choosing-hibs-straightforward-despite-hearts-talks/ | default

While 37-year-old Mathie is only weeks in the sporting director role, he sees his relationship with the new head coach as pivotal to turning fortunes around at Easter Road - with the team winning just two league games all season.

The former professional player, who has spells with Motherwell, Ayr United and East Fife during his career, said: "It is huge. I have had different relationships with all the head coaches that I've worked under here in my previous role as head of recruitment.

"I see my role as being one of support. Jack is responsible for everything that happens on the pitch and I want to be there to help achieve positive results and everything he wants to achieve at the club.

"It is about trying to find a balance as quickly as we can and that everybody is focused on the same thing, which is trying to win games.

"It was interesting speaking to Jack about it. One of his reflections of his time at St Mirren was that he was the guy who had to do everything and he had a number of different people would report to him on a huge number of different aspects.

"Going to Sunderland taking on a job of that size was probably the opposite; there were a lot of challenges there that he had to face on his own.

"So I think what clubs are now looking towards is someone in post to set a longer-term strategy.

"Hopefully giving a head coach or a manager everything he needs to achieve short-term successes in results at the weekend, but actually having a wider look at what the whole club can do in the longer term."

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1442124-hibs-sack-paul-heckingbottom-after-nine-months-in-charge/ | default

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