‘Hibs are ready to give Rangers a fight,’ insists Nigeria and former Celtic defender Efe Ambrose

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EFE AMBROSE is relishing the prospect of running out at Ibrox this weekend and has warned Rangers that Hibs will be up for the fight.

The Nigeria internationalist spent five years with Celtic before leaving in the summer but, with his Parkhead arrival coinciding with Rangers’ demotion to the Third Division in 2012, never experienced action in an Old Firm game.

The 28-year-old is being given an immediate opportunity to taste the Ibrox atmosphere after teaming up again with former Celtic manager Neil Lennon when he joined Hibs on a permanent deal this summer.

(Pic: Hibs TV)

Lennon, Ambrose, and fellow former Hoops players Anthony Stokes and Dylan McGeouch are certain to be given a red-hot receptions during the clash with their old foes.

And Ambrose, who netted in Tuesday night’s 5-0 hammering of Ayr United in the Betfred Cup, is convinced the Easter Road outfit will be ready for the challenge of taking on the on-form Glasgow giants.

He said: “We know they are a great team, it’s a great stadium and they have a great history, too.

“They are a team we have to give respect to.

“But, at the same time, football is football and the most important thing is how you prepare for the game.

RESPECT

“So, for me, we’ll give them great respect, we know they are a great team and it is not going to be an easy game.

“But we are going there to give them a fight and we’ll see. The best team will win the game.”

Ambrose, who angered Lennon by returning late from his summer break, has slotted in to a Hibs defence that has plenty of options as they bid to shut out their 2016 Scottish Cup final rivals.

However, Ambrose is hopeful the capital side will also be able to highlight their attacking threats after a double from Stokes on Tuesday helped take their tally to 21 goals in six competitive matches so far this season.

He added: “We know if we get a chance we need to utilise it, because last season we had several chances but weren’t scoring goals.

“This season, with [Simon] Murray, Stokesy coming in, [Martin] Boyle, [John] McGinn, everybody, there are lots of people able to score – defenders, midfielders, strikers.

COLLECTIVE EFFORT

“It makes it difficult for the opposition. We have a team of players who can score goals and it makes the opponent work hard.

“They don’t know who is going to be the target man, so everybody is important in the team.”

Stokes and nine-goal Murray may be grabbing the headlines at the moment, but Ambrose insists Hibs’ success so far is all down to their team ethic.

He told Hibs TV: “Generally, we are just trying to improve on every part of the pitch.

“Every person is trying their best to help their fellow team-mates. It is a collective effort.

“We need to continue on from Tuesday and keep fighting.”

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