“New balls, please.” Hibs star urges bravery to match gaffer’s bold plan

Joe Newell has delivered his verdict on new head coach’s vision.

Newell buys into Montgomery’s grand vision Newell buys into Montgomery’s grand vision
Newell buys into Montgomery’s grand vision

Hibs skipper Joe Newell believes it will take “balls” to front up and play the expansive football envisioned by new head coach Nick Montgomery.

And he knows that anyone who doesn’t adapt to the change of philosophy will have to get used to life on the sidelines.

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Newell was handed the armband for Montgomery’s first game, Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

The midfielder took temporary possession of the leadership role from Paul Hanlon, named captain by Lee Johnson at the start of the season, with the veteran defender left on the bench.

As the Easter Road outfit prepare for three home games in the space of a week, starting with Saturday’s visit of St Johnstone, Montgomery and his coaching staff have wasted no time in ripping up axed gaffer Johnson’s game model – and replacing it with a plan that puts the emphasis on attack.

Newell, who was asked to cover a lot of ground alongside Jimmy Jeggo in a 4-4-2 formation that allowed both wingers to fly forward in support of twin strikers, admitted that there had been some adjustment required.

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“It takes balls and it takes bravery to do that,” said the Englishman. “Not just from the gaffer but from us as players.

“Players have to buy into it. You either buy into it or you’re not playing, right? If you don’t do it, he’s not going to pick you, so it’s as simple as that.

“But it’s good football, isn’t it? Everyone wants to play that type of style.

“It’s just going to take time. Give us a few weeks, months, years … and I’m sure he’ll put his stamp on the team - and we’ll play some really good stuff.”

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