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Tommy Wright’s Scottish Premiership preview: Jack Ross played a blinder bringing Drey Wright to Hibs

© SNSDrey Wright has some fun in training with his new Hibs team-mates
Drey Wright has some fun in training with his new Hibs team-mates

His former manager at St Johnstone knows what a signing coup Drey Wright will prove for Jack Ross.

The Hibernian boss persuaded the 25-year-old winger to switch from McDiarmid Park under freedom of contract earlier this month.

It was a transfer overshadowed by the £160,000 purchase of Kevin Nisbet from Dunfermline, not least because of a late attempt by Hearts to pinch the prolific striker.

The recruitment of Alex Gogic from Hamilton Accies also stole away a bit of the attention from the Englishman’s arrival at Easter Road.

But Tommy Wright, who signed Drey for Saints from Colchester United in the summer of 2018, believes his former player will soon be grabbing the headlines.

“I think in Drey Wright, Jack has probably picked up the signing of the summer so far,” he said.

“When I was at St Johnstone, we really wanted to get him re-signed before Christmas, but couldn’t get it done.

“If he stays fit, I think Drey will play a big part for Jack this season.

“His best position is probably on the right of a front three. But he can play as a wing-back, and can also play in behind the striker.

“So you have a player able to cover three different positions.

“With Jack probably going with a smaller squad again this season, that adaptability will be very important.

“Jack has a bit of recruitment to do in the next wee while, but he is off to a great start with Drey.”

Success for the winger would suggest there could be plenty of opportunities coming the way of his fellow new signing, Nisbet.

Wright is a little more cautious on the subject of the striker.

“It is going to be a step up for Kevin, and it will be about how he responds,” he said.

“The spotlight will be on him, just as it will with Lawrence Shankland at Dundee United.

“Both players will back their ability to score goals, but they are going up a division.

“That means they will be coming up against better defenders, and teams that are better organised.

“They will get fewer clear-cut chances. It is about how they get on with them that will count.”

This summer Jack Ross found himself in the unusual position of being a manager of a club getting stick for making, rather than failing to make, new signings.

Following closely on the heels of the news of wage cuts and coaching departures at Easter Road, Hibs were criticised for having an inconsistent approach to their finances during the Covid-19 lockdown.

As someone fortunate enough not to have to deal with the footballing ramifications of the virus, Wright sympathises.

“There has been a lot of hype about Hibs having wage cuts and then going out and spending money,” he said.

“That’s not an ideal situation for Jack because he will want a happy dressing room.

“But I think those are decisions that will have been made above him.

“Jack should have enough experience to manage the situation.”