Hibs need to find a rough diamond to step up against Rangers, says Ibrox hat-trick hero Ivan Sproule

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Former Hibs winger Ivan Sproule has urged one of the current Easter Road squad to take a leaf out of his book – and step up against Rangers at Ibrox.

Lee Johnson’s side resume cinch Premiership action on Thursday night when they travel to Glasgow to take on the Light Blues in new manager Michael Beale’s first competitive game in charge, looking to arrest a run of form that has seen them lose six of their last seven matches.

In August 2005, Sproule came on as a 63rd-minute substitute for Tony Mowbray’s side and a hit a hat-trick as Hibs stunned Rangers 3-0 and the ex-Northern Ireland internationalist would love to see lightning strike twice later this week – as he claims both teams are under pressure.

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“Hibs will have to have a way to go and attack this game. Rangers haven’t been in the best form before the World Cup break either, so there’s pressure on both teams. For me, you can’t go to Ibrox and defend for ninety minutes because they will pick you off and there will only be one outcome,” he explained.

Ivan Sproule celebrates his hat-trick for Hibs against Rangers at Ibrox in August 2005Ivan Sproule celebrates his hat-trick for Hibs against Rangers at Ibrox in August 2005
Ivan Sproule celebrates his hat-trick for Hibs against Rangers at Ibrox in August 2005

“You have to have a go and, for me, as a former player then and a fan now, doing that is the Hibs’ way. I’m not saying that they should go gung-ho and be reckless – there are ways to do it – but you have to have attacking flair.”

With Martin Boyle sidelined for the remainder of the season, Hibs have lost a talismanic attacker who has the ability to change a game. But while Sproule knows the Australian internationalist will be a big miss for the Easter Road side, he admits he would get a kick out of seeing one of the current squad stepping up and making a difference on Thursday night.

“Martin Boyle is injured, so someone else needs to step up – just like I stepped up all those years ago. Hopefully there’s another rough diamond in there who can go out and make a name for themselves at Ibrox,” he continued.

“It’s not all down to managers, coaches, and what tactics they use. Sometimes you just need a player, or maybe two, to show that they’ve got something about them and lead you to a result.”

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