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Hibs boss Neil Lennon urges his players to play the game not the occasion against Rangers

Neil Lennon (SNS Group)
Neil Lennon (SNS Group)

HIBERNIAN head coach Neil Lennon has told his players to ignore the hype when they enter the “amphitheatre” of Ibrox.

Hibs face Rangers on Saturday for the first time since the 2016 William Hill Scottish Cup final, when the Edinburgh side turned the game on its head in the latter stages before both sets of fans clashed on the Hampden pitch.

The presence of former Celtic captain and manager Lennon has added another intriguing dimension to the fixture while Saturday represents a major test for both teams.

Rangers need to follow up their opening victory at Motherwell to show they can stay close to Ladbrokes Premiership champions Celtic.

Promoted Hibs are looking to set another marker after their impressive return to the top flight in a 3-1 win over Partick Thistle, which they followed with a 5-0 Betfred Cup thrashing of in-form Ayr.

But Lennon told Hibs TV: “You have to play the game and not the occasion. There will be a lot of hype surrounding the game – it means nothing, it’s just noise

“The players have got to play the game accordingly and not get over-emotional and not get caught up in the atmosphere and just concentrate on just trying to win the game, which we are capable of doing. But we know how difficult it’s going to be.

“I’ve won a few times there, it’s quite enjoyable. But it’s always intimidating and it’s always a difficult place to go.

“It’s a great amphitheatre of football and the pitch is always in good condition, which hopefully will suit us.”