Hibs manager Jack Ross insists the SPFL risk ruining the season if they dish out mandatory defeats for clubs during the Covid-19 crisis.

The Easter Road boss believes it would be a ‘dangerous path’ for the governing body to go down as they bid to cope with teams being unable to fulfil fixtures.

Today’s opponents, Kilmarnock, are facing a disciplinary charge for allegedly breaching SPFL coronavirus regulations.

But Ross expects Killie to defend themselves robustly as the virus spreads through wider society.

And he reckons Scottish football should be wary of playing the blame game.

He said: “Sometimes it’s our culture where we look to apportion blame rather than take a step back and assess the situation.

“Our profession is different to the wider population and probably incidents that happened earlier in the season (at Aberdeen and Celtic) maybe skewed people’s opinions on it.

“There was probably a situation where there was a bit of irresponsible behaviour but certainly in recent times that doesn’t seem to have been the case.

“You can’t be with players 24/7 but certainly I don’t think we should be in a rush to blame and hand out punishments.

“The truth is we are living in strange times and we’ve got the football season up and running and want it to continue.

“(Three-nil defeats) would be a dangerous path to go down.

“This season is challenging for so many reasons. We really run the risk of ruining a season if we do that, because there are circumstances that will take that outwith clubs’ controls.

“Again, (there’s) the paranoia that surrounds the lack of fixture dates and I know (SPFL secretary) Iain (Blair) has a difficult job at the SPFL to do that.

“But, ultimately, if we have to play four games in a week or another club has to do it, then so be it.

“Clubs have had to do it in the past. It’s happened through times of really poor weather or the time Rangers got to the UEFA Cup final (in 2008).

“It’s not as if it’s unprecedented and if that’s the outcome then, personally, I think that’s much preferable to clubs being given 3-0 defeats in games.

“The consequences of that 3-0 defeat could obviously be huge for teams at both ends of the table.”

At the same time, Ross understands the SPFL’s move to consult with clubs over contingency plans should this season face major disruption because of the pandemic.

He added: “What we had to endure in the latter part of last season and how long it took to get to a position where we knew what the new season was going to look like wasn’t ideal.

“There are anomalies in we have a profession run by an organisation that doesn’t have power at times. That in itself can be confusing.

“The greater clarity we have in all aspects helps because we want the season to finish. I understand the need to prepare for the very worst case but hopefully we never get to that.

“But I think the greater clarity we have on that the better.”

Meanwhile, striker Christian Doidge has every confidence in the safeguards in place at Hibs - and hopes they never have to deal with what today’s opponents have gone through.

He commented: “It’s frustrating. You want your best players out there every week.

“The Covid thing is a terrible time for everyone and I just wish the lads there well.

“I’m not sure how other teams are dealing with it but as a club we’ve been dealing with it pretty well.

“We’ve not had a massive outbreak - touch wood - but hopefully we can continue to do that and concentrate on our football.

“You don’t want that distraction and want your best players available, so hopefully we can keep doing that.

“The most important thing for me is Hibernian and as long as we’re doing everything right that’s all that matters.

“We’re going into every game knowing we’ve done that so we’ve just got to keep doing it and hopefully picking up three points.”

Hibs were left frustrated by last weekend’s stalemate at Ross County, and saw Aberdeen leapfrog them into third during the week.

With the mouthwatering Scottish Cup final against bitter rivals Hearts at Hampden on the horizon next weekend, Doidge accepts it is a huge week for the capital outfit.

He continued: “Every game in this league is important. Kilmarnock are on our heels, Aberdeen are just in front so it’s important we get these points.

“Everyone is aware we have that massive game but our full focus is on Kilmarnock.”