Hibs have nothing to fear going into Rangers clash, insists Joe Newell

Confidence high in Hibee camp, according to midfielder

By Patrick McPartlin
Monday, 14th September 2020, 7:30 am
Updated Monday, 14th September 2020, 9:17 am
Joe Newell says Hibs should be confident going into next weekend's clash against Rangers

Joe Newell insists Hibs have nothing to fear going into this weekend’s match against Rangers at Easter Road.

The midfielder scored the second goal and created the third as Jack Ross’ side ran out 3-0 winners against St Mirren on Saturday and despite the Ibrox side recording seven straight clean sheets on league duty, Newell is adamant the Easter Road side won’t be overawed by the top-of-the-table clash.

Newell said: “We’ve had a very good start and the way we are playing at the minute, with our defensive record, there’s no reason for us to fear anyone and we definitely won’t.

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“Obviously we know the threats Rangers have and the quality they have but I think we’ve shown enough that we can be feared as well. It should be a good game.

“It’s that winning mentality and the momentum you gain. Obviously they have that as well as they’ve started the season well. But we’re going in with plenty of confidence.”

Addressing the convincing win in Paisley, Newell added: “It was a good performance. I think it was important to bounce back after Aberdeen.

"We’d obviously had a great start to the season so the Aberdeen loss still hurts a little bit. It was important to show a reaction today.”

The former Rotherham United midfielder believes the good feeling at Hibs’ training centre and throughout the first-team squad has been a key factor with the Capital club recording five wins and one draw from their opening seven matches.

Newell added: “It feels like there’s a good balance to the team. You can see that with the defensive record we’ve started the season with.

"Alex Gogic coming in has improved us in that respect. As a collective, the defence including Gogic have done really well.

“In saying that, everyone knows that it’s the whole team. The two strikers work their socks off, I’m in there as well and the two wide men aren’t shirking any responsibility either.

“When you have that winning mentality, it’s easy to keep winning. It was the opposite at the start of last season when we were on a bad run.“We’re just enjoying it. There’s a consistency – most of the team has stayed the same - and it’s just a good place to be at the minute.”

Newell has impressed in the middle of the park after being deployed as a wide midfielder following his arrival last summer - a position switch he has welcomed with open arms, and one that has now produced his first league goal.

Newell continued: “I’m playing more central now which I prefer. That’s definitely more my natural position.

“I think that’s why the gaffer is now getting the best out of me.

“The gaffer and the coaches have been on at me to try and improve. They’ve given me lots of little tips. It’s all about me getting further forward and trying to get into the box more.

“I think that was the first time I’d thought about it and got in there and managed to tuck one away.”