Football: McLeish seeks belief from his Hibernian side

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The Independent Online
HIBERNIAN'S manager, Alex McLeish, wants his new charges to shake off any feelings of self-pity when they face Rangers at Easter Road. McLeish takes charge of the Premier Division's bottom club for the first time today after his move from Motherwell nine days ago.

"Hibs may be down at the bottom but I'm convinced there is enough ability in the squad to turn things around. But the players have got to want it," McLeish said.

McLeish will give a debut to the goalkeeper Bryan Gunn, who joined the club on a three-month loan deal this week from Norwich. There could also others change to the side.

Manny Omoyimni is likely to start on the bench for Dundee United at Dunfermline after joining them on a month's deal from West Ham. The 20- year-old Nigerian-born winger has been allowed to move to Tannadice in the short term by the Hammers manager, Harry Redknapp, to build up his fitness.

Celtic's head coach, Wim Jansen, views every game remaining this term as effectively being a cup final as his side aim for the treble of league and both domestic cups, having already won the Coca-Cola trophy.

The latest of these so-called finals sees second-placed Celtic take on Kilmarnock at Parkhead with Jansen looking for a repeat of Monday's determination and composure that brought a convincing 2-1 Scottish Cup win at Dunfermline.

"Every player needs to be really concentrated now for every match and I think they understand that is necessary as every game is a cup final for us now," the Dane said. "The way we have played recent games has been very good as we have put pressure on the opposition from the outset and that is important from our way of playing."

Today's opponents are Kilmarnock, whose manager, Bobby Williamson, hopes his side will bounce back from surrendering their hold on the Scottish Cup in a fourth-round defeat in this year's competition by Ayr. "It really does not matter if we go on to win our next five league games, it won't make up for that loss," he said. "But, having said that, we know we have just got to get on with it."

Elsewhere, Motherwell's caretaker manager, Jim Griffin, will take charge for the first, and probably last, time at home to title-chasing Hearts.