Hibs boss has message for rival in Scottish football 'standards' row

Nick Montgomery at training yesterdayNick Montgomery at training yesterday
Nick Montgomery at training yesterday
Monty weighs in on '100 times better' argument

Hibs boss Nick Montgomery has added his voice to the chorus of leading figures defending Scottish football in the wake of Ross County gaffer Derek Adams’ rant about standards in the country’s elite division. And Monty, who will go head to head with Adams at Victoria Park this weekend, believes his County counterpart was merely lashing out in the heat of the moment following the Staggies’ concession of a 96th-minute winner to Dundee on Saturday.

Former Morecambe manager Adams claimed that the team with the smallest budget in England’s League Two were “100 times better” than the Scottish Premiership side he’s just inherited from Malky Mackay. The always-controversial coach, now in his third stint as gaffer in Dingwall, also described the standard of top-flight games as “shocking.”

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Montgomery pointed to a hat-trick of victories by Scottish clubs in UEFA competitions last week as a counter-argument to Adams’ low opinion of the domestic game, declaring: “I can’t really agree with his comments – but he’s entitled to his opinion. I think it’s a real competitive league. Every week, you are playing against different teams with different playing styles.

“But I think the standard is very good. You only have to look at the three Scottish clubs in Europe last week, that tells its own story.

“Rangers topping their group, Celtic winning a big game and Aberdeen getting a great result, that shows something. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But it’s not my opinion, because I think the standard is very good.”

Asked whether emotion had influenced the County boss when he went on his post-match rant, Montgomery said: “It’s never nice to lose any game of football. For it to happen in the last minute, it does really hurt. I’ve been there as a player and as a coach.

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“It’s an emotional game, it really is. And it’s not easy being a manager, because you put in a lot of effort during the week, on the opposition, on how you’re going to play.

“New managers come in all the time. I was one. And the first thing is you have to get the players onside. It can take a little bit of time to implement what you want.

“Obviously Derek has come in there a few weeks ago. And he was obviously very frustrated at the weekend, suffering a last-minute loss. I’ve been there. It’s not nice. It brings up a lot of emotion.”

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