Joe Newell insists Hibernian have the belief they can eliminate Rangers

The sides clash at Easter Road in Sunday's cup quarter-final.

Joe Newell insists Hibernian have the belief they can eliminate Rangers SNS Group

Joe Newell insisted Hibernian have plenty reason to believe they can cause an upset and eliminate cinch Premiership leaders Rangers from the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup.

The two sides meet in a mouthwatering quarter-final tie at Easter Road on Sunday night.

The hosts are underdogs but they go into the tie buoyed by a five-game unbeaten run in all competitions plus memories of a home match against Celtic last month when they performed impressively before losing 2-1 following a contentious stoppage-time penalty.

“It’s all about belief,” said Newell. “But you can’t just say that for example, Tamworth, my hometown club, are going to beat Barcelona just because they have belief.

“You have to have belief from having seen things happen and something working before.

“We’ve had a good performance the last time we played Celtic, and in my years I’ve been up here we’ve had good performances and results against Rangers so the belief is there through evidence.

“With the squad we have, the talent we have, and the form we’re in, we should believe.”

Newell feels his team should draw on the “emotion” of the occasion on Sunday as they bid to make it to their second Hampden semi-final this season by defeating the team they famously beat 3-2 in the final when they last won it in 2016.

“It’s always a good game against Rangers,” said Newell. “We’re at home so we need to use that to our advantage and start off fast.

“It’s about being solid, all the fundamentals of playing the Old Firm will be important and then we need to try to bring that emotion of a cup quarter-final, a chance to get to Hampden, and remember the reason we’re playing – to try to win the cup.

“It’s about trying to bring that all together to get a good solid performance.”

Rangers head to Easter Road after a gruelling 2-2 draw away to Benfica in the Europa League on Thursday night, although Newell does not anticipate fatigue being a major factor.

“I watched it and it was a tough game for them so hopefully they’re knackered!” laughed the Englishman. “We obviously played in Europe earlier on in the season and it’s tough to go Thursday night, Sunday, Thursday night again.

“We struggled with it. It can be hard physically and mentally. But what I would say is their squad is obviously a lot stronger in depth than what we had.

“They’re a club and a group of players that are used to doing well in Europe the last few years. It’s tough but I’m sure they’ll be well prepared and ready mentally the same as we will be, so we won’t be going into too much detail on that in terms of our thinking before the game.”

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