By Dan Carter

19th Oct, 2023 | 6:40pm

Nick Montgomery sends Hibernian message ahead of Rangers showdown

Nick Montgomery has said that his Hibernian side are treating their clash with Rangers the same way as they would with “any other opponent.”

The Light Blues welcome Hibs to Ibrox on Saturday (21 October) in their first game following the October international break in what will be Philippe Clement’s debut after he was named as Michael Beale’s successor.

For Hibernian, it represents the first of an intense double header as they face Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic side next week, but the former Central Coast Mariners boss has insisted that his side “can beat anybody” as he remains unfazed by the task at hand.

As quoted by the Daily Record on Thursday (19 October) he said: “The boys know if we play the way we can, if we compete, we can beat anybody. But the key to that is keeping the preparation process as normal as possible.

“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.

“We’ll do the analysis, watch the last couple of games – and go into the match with a game plan, prepared for the contest. 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.”

Pressure on

The pressure is truly on Rangers to deliver on Saturday, as they begin a new era under a new manager with the hope of finally getting their season up and running after what has been a pretty dreadful opening few months of the campaign.

Nobody is expecting Clement to have arrived with a magic wand and already fixed all the issues throughout the team that Beale has left behind at Ibrox, but supporters will be hoping to see some improvement and hopefully a good result during the Belgian’s first match in charge.

Montgomery has had a decent start to life so far at Hibernian and is yet to taste defeat since arriving at the club in September, so it is completely reasonable that he intends to set up his side in the same way, seeing it has served him well so far.

If Hibs aren’t fazed by the occasion, Rangers cannot allow themselves to become overwhelmed either, otherwise, it is more than likely that they will once again struggle in front of their home crowd. Clement just needs to ensure that his team get the job done and anything else will be a bonus.

In other Rangers news, Andy Walker has tipped Steven Davis for a role in Clement’s coaching staff