‘If we compete, we can beat anybody’ - Hibs tackle back-to-back Old Firm tests fired by belief

Martin Boyle celebrates his hat-trick against Rangers in a 3-1 Premier Sports Cup semi-final win at Hampden in November of 2021 - the last time the Hibees beat the Light Blues.Martin Boyle celebrates his hat-trick against Rangers in a 3-1 Premier Sports Cup semi-final win at Hampden in November of 2021 - the last time the Hibees beat the Light Blues.
Martin Boyle celebrates his hat-trick against Rangers in a 3-1 Premier Sports Cup semi-final win at Hampden in November of 2021 - the last time the Hibees beat the Light Blues. | SNS Group
Monty’s men confident they can take on Big Two

Hibs will head into a testing Old Firm double-header driven by belief that they can beat any team in the land.

And head coach Nick Montgomery, who led Central Coast Mariners to an unlikely A-League title with smallest budget in Australia’s elite division, insists the financial muscle of Scotland’s Big Two shouldn’t represent an insurmountable challenge for the Edinburgh side.

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Monty’s men – unbeaten in six games - head to Ibrox for new Rangers gaffer Philippe Clement’s first game at the helm on Saturday, while Celtic are the visitors to Easter Road seven days later.

Montgomery is relishing the challenge, declaring: “The boys know if we play the way we can, if we compete, we can beat anybody. That’s proven all over the world, not something that’s new. But the key to that is keeping the preparation process as normal as possible.

“The facts are there. We know that, in terms of budget, there is such a big gap between themselves and everybody else.

“But that’s not any reason to treat these next two games any differently. We treat Saturday exactly the same as any other opponent.

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“We’ll do the analysis, watch the last couple of games – and go into the match with a game plan, prepared for the contest. But obviously they are two very good teams.”

Expanding on the approach that allowed Central Coast to bridge the gap with big-spending domestic rivals like Melbourne City, backed by the billions of the City Football Group, Montgomery said: “We just concentrated on ourselves and had a game plan for whoever we played against – no matter who it was.

“We always respected the opposition but concentrated on ourselves and how we wanted to play.

“Obviously, Rangers and Celtic are renowned as the two big clubs in the country – for good reason. But it wasn’t something I really looked at when I took the job. I was so focused on the first game, away to Kilmarnock, that it took up all my attention.

“When it comes to playing against both of the big Glasgow teams, it’s definitely something to look forward to.”

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