Nick Montgomery told to make key Hibs changes v Celtic after Rangers defeat
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Hibs will take on Celtic at Easter Road this weekend after suffering a hammering at Ibrox. Nick Montgomery experienced his first taste of Old Firm action and it was far from pleasant as the Gers new boss Philippe Clement came in with a bang, beating the Hibees 4-0.
The upcoming fixture is unlikely to be less of a challenge as the Hoops defeated Hibs’ rivals Hearts 4-1 at Tynecastle. Speaking after the fixture, the Hibs boss was sure of his team’s ability to turn things around within the space of a week, but ex-Hibs forward Tam McManus has revealed the flaw in Montgomery’s plan and has since detailed how he believes the Old Firm teams can be beaten.
As reported in the Daily Record, Tam McManus writes of Montgomery’s tactics: “He deployed a 4-42 formation which was verging on a 4-2-4 at times and left themselves wide open at the back. Time after time they tried to play the ball out from the back and Rangers pressed them into giving the ball away and they could have conceded seven or eight.”
Ahead of Hibs’ clash with Rangers, the Ibrox side had lost three of their opening nine Premiership clashes but, such is the way of fate, that the Gers bounced back into form just in time to take on Hibs.
“Hibs have been a side playing with a bit of confidence and maybe there was a bit of arrogance in the approach and that’s no bad thing. Rangers have been toiling and they had a go to try and beat them but it was just Montgomery’s luck that they picked last weekend to click back into gear.”
McManus has also detailed that while a new approach to attacking is needed, there is a huge defensive issue which can only be resolved after Christmas.
He added: “This is a Hibs side which needs to bring in new defenders in January as that’s where their problems lie. The back four and the goalkeeper in my opinion just aren’t good enough. Montgomery also needs to find a system which is going to deliver results.
“Every time the keeper had the ball the Hibs centre-halves split to take possession and that was the cue for me to cringe and the Rangers players to press. It’s essentially the essence of a coaching quandary, if Pep Guardiola has his defenders playing out from the back then that’s great and a billion pounds well spent. You can play whatever way you want with great players, Hibs don’t have a billion pounds so they need to find another way and just be prepared to go long.”