Frustration over VAR no-call and Hibs’ own failings - Monty’s Ibrox verdict

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Easter Road side routed 4-0 by rampant Rangers

Hibs boss Nick Montgomery believes VAR should have called back the second Rangers goal in his team’s crushing 4-0 defeat at Ibrox.

But the Englishman concedes that his team were beaten by a more clinical side in Philippe Clement’s first game as Rangers boss.

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Montgomery was disappointed to see his team concede a sloppy opener after 16 minutes – and left frustrated by the challenge that set up Nicolas Raskin for a long-range second just before half-time.

He said: “It was a tough afternoon. It was a defeat. I was really disappointed with the manner of the first goal. I thought we were building into the game at that point, frustrating them and we’d created a couple of half chances on the counter.

“It’s a disappointing goal to concede. And then they start a bit of momentum, the fans are buoyed by a new coach coming in …

“The second goal, my view at the time is it was a foul on Joe Newell. That’s my opinion and I’ve watched it back on the video – he gets kicked from behind, into his Achilles’ before the ball is touched.

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“I genuinely thought VAR would have called that back – but it wasn’t to be.

“The second half was difficult, a couple of sloppy turnovers, the pressure was off them and they’ve got quality players.

“If you don’t defend properly at the edge of the box, you know they’ll be clinical. They were more clinical than us in the final third today. We lacked a bit of creativity, didn’t generate many chances.

“I thought that, towards the end of the game, there were a couple of half chances when taking the better option would have given us a real chance of scoring.

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“It wasn’t to be, it’s a defeat and we accept it. We cop it on the chin and move forward.”

Disappointed that his players didn’t managed to turn the home crowd against Rangers by capitalising on their early chances, Montgomery conceded: “Look, you come here and they’ve got top fans who create a great atmosphere. But they wanted change.

“The new manager comes in and, like myself, you’re not going to change everything overnight. But the players were always going to be a bit more energetic today.

“I genuinely thought we quietened them down at the start, played some good stuff, but the first goal is really important.

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“And I thought we gave that goal away, going against everything we’ve been doing. It’s just a long ball forward from David Marshall, we didn’t win the first ball, didn’t win the second ball and it’s a transition moment, we’re sprinting back towards our own goal – and it’s a good finish.

“After that it takes a bit of pressure off them, they get into the game a bit more. The second goal really did come at a time when we could have got back in the game.

“At 2-0 down, you have to come out and try to play. If you just sit back, you’re not going to score a goal.

“But we weren’t great in the final third today. And a couple of sloppy mistakes at the back against clinical players cost us. That was the disappointing thing for me.”

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Clement, pleased with aspects of his team’s first performance since his appointment earlier this week, said: “Hibs are a good team – we’ve seen that in recent weeks. But they struggled to play their attacking football today because of the way we played and how we pressed.”

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