Smith: Hibs capable of mixing it

23 October 2009 07:45
Victory for the Edinburgh club would allow them to leapfrog the defending champions into pole position in the Scottish Premier League.[LNB]Remaining there is unlikely but Rangers boss Walter Smith does expect Hughes' men to be challenging for the 'best of the rest' tag this term.[LNB]Smith said: "This year I think they will be challenging the likes of Hearts, Dundee United and Aberdeen for European places.[LNB]"That'll be a big target for them this season and I think they've shown a capability of pushing for that so far.[LNB]"Hibs have had an excellent start to the season and John already has a good team coming together.[LNB]"He has pulled in a couple of players and brought them together with the existing players in his squad really well."[LNB]Smith believes Hibs' impressive start is largely down to the fine form of two of the SPL's best strikers.[LNB]He told Rangers News: "For me, Derek Riordan is as good a forward as there is in this country when he is on form.[LNB]"He, along with Anthony Stokes, adds to the goalscoring capabilities within Hibernian's team.[LNB]"Stokes has shown over a period of time he can find the net too and the fact Hibs have him and Riordan in their team means they should do well this term."[LNB]Hibs boss Hughes knows the crowd could be Rangers' worst enemy tomorrow if things do not go their way.[LNB]But the former Celtic defender will not send his side out to frustrate the home support.[LNB]He said: "Keeping the crowd quiet doesn't come into it. What comes into it for me is how we start the match, who's got that self-belief, who's got that confidence, who's got that trust that we can go there and win the football match?[LNB]"If they don't, they shouldn't be putting that strip on."[LNB]However, Hughes has vowed not to go all out for the victory.[LNB]"I'm caught between a rock and a hard place, aren't I?" he said. "Everybody is saying, 'Rangers had a bad result and they've got Bougherra missing, Mendes missing, and is this the time to go there?'[LNB]"I have to have my football head on tactically and, every time you go to Glasgow, you have to make sure you stay in the game as long as you can.[LNB]"That doesn't change on Saturday.[LNB]"I'm just delighted we've got this opportunity to go and play the match on Saturday, to maybe win it and go top of the league, albeit it could be for a short period."[LNB][LNB]

Source: Team_Talk