'He just wants to win' - Joe Newell hails 'unbelievable' Hibs player ahead of Rangers clash

Hibs midfielder Joe Newell has backed Ryan Porteous to rise to the occasion this weekend when Rangers visit the Capital on Scottish Premiership duty.

The centre-back is never far from the limelight in matches against the Light Blues but his team-mate insists he will thrive in the big-game atmosphere.

“Ryan is mature way beyond his years. He’s still very young but got plenty of experience,” Newell said as he previewed Saturday’s game.

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“There have been a few flashpoints but I’m 29 and got sent off in a semi-final last year. It’s going to happen no matter your age.

“His performances for this club have been unbelievable. I’ve got no worries about him going in to the game.

“He just loves playing for Hibs, and wears his heart on his sleeve. That doesn’t change if it’s Rangers, Kilmarnock, St Mirren, he just wants to win.”

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Newell also dismissed the idea of Rangers having half a mind on the second leg of their Champions League qualifying play-off with PSV Eindhoven.

“We can’t really look into that or try and play on it. We have just got to prepare as normal, we are going in full of confidence” he added.

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Joe Newell has no concerns about Ryan Porteous going into Saturday's clash with Rangers

Manager Lee Johnson, who was in attendance at the first leg, suggested it was ‘disrespectful’ to insinuate the visitors would be distracted by their European tie.

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"You'd think if there's £30-50 million riding on the midweek game that that probably becomes a big focus," he agreed.

"But that's disrespectful in a sense to the players they've got in the squad and the depth of the squad. I think any Rangers side is going to be a good side."