‘The pressure is on him now’ - Hibs boss on Rangers counterpart
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Hibs boss Nick Montgomery believes Rangers counterpart Philippe Clement will already be under pressure in his first game as gaffer.
And he says the Belgian’s chances of turning the Light Blues around will depend entirely on how quickly his players buy into structural changes to the team.
Monty, who has been using former team-mate Stuart McCall as a font of information about what to expect on his first trip to Ibrox tomorrow, knows his team will be walking into a “hostile environment” made even more febrile by the arrival of Clement.
“The fans will be buoyed by bringing in a new coach because that’s what they wanted,” he said, adding: “No club, especially not one the size of Rangers, wants to be without a manager because it gives the players doubt, it gives the fans doubt, and I’m sure the board acted swiftly to bring in someone of that calibre.
“The pressure is on him now to perform and implement what he wants - and I’m sure they all want that quickly.”
Montgomery, who arrived at Hibs during the September international window, is perfectly placed to judge how quickly Clement – appointed last Sunday – can make the necessary changes at Rangers.
He expects the former Monaco boss to make an instant impact, pointing out:“If you saw what we did within a week before we went to Kilmarnock, I think we changed a lot. But really, you have to have the buy-in from the players.
“The players have to buy into you quite early to implement what you want them to. I can’t talk about what Philippe has done this week, they had players on international duty like we did in my first week - and you really only get about 48 hours with them.
“I’m sure he’ll try to implement as much as he possibly can in a short space of time.
“In the first interaction with the players, you have to be pretty straight on what you’re looking for. I’m sure the players were ready for someone to come in - and I’m sure he delivered the message he needed to on day one.
“But you’re talking very good players, high-quality players who probably have a high game intelligence.”
Looking ahead to finally getting inside one of the game’s most famous stadiums, Montgomery said: “I played with Stuart McCall and we talked a lot about his time at Rangers and how amazing the fans were in the stadium.
“I’ve driven past it but never been inside as a player or a coach so I’m really looking forward to it.
“Any big club, the fans’ expectations are that the team should win every game. We have two big clubs in this league and the expectation is that they win every game - but football isn’t always that easy.”