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Joe Newell says Hibs stars need 'balls' to play for Nick Montgomery as he offers insight into tactical tweaks

Joe Newell insists Hibs players must show they’ve got the “balls” to carry out Nick Montgomery’s game plan - or they’ll be left kicking their backsides on the sidelines.

The midfielder was stand-in skipper for the new boss’ first game in charge with Paul Hanlon benched in the 2-2 at Kilmarnock on Saturday. And former Central Coast Mariners manager Montgomery wasted no time putting his stamp on his side as they played out from the back while overloading the attack at every opportunity.

Hibs lined up with Dylan Vente and Christian Doidge up front with wide men Martin Boyle and Elie Youan supporting them in a front four in the final third. That placed an onus on Newell and Jimmy Jeggo to cover extra ground to cover the backline. But Newell insists the front foot style is exactly what players want. He said: “It takes balls and it takes bravery to do that. Not just from the gaffer but from us as players.

“Players have to buy into it. You either buy into it or you’re not playing, right? If you don’t do it, he’s not going to pick you, so it’s as simple as that. But it’s good football, isn’t it? Everyone wants to play that type of style.

“It’s just going to take time. Give us a few weeks, months, years … and I’m sure he’ll put his stamp on the team and we’ll play some really good stuff.”