IF STUART McCall’s appointment as Rangers manager was supposed to cause consternation at Easter Road, then clearly someone forgot to inform Franck Dja Djedje.
Hibernian’s Ivorian striker approached questions regarding the new man at the helm at Ibrox with a heady mix of nonchalance and unwavering confidence.
Rangers may get a short-term boost, he conceded, but it will matter little in the race for second place in the Scottish Championship.
Hibs are simply a better team, he argued, and are more than capable of securing the runners-up spot.
Moreover, he posited that the Hibs squad assembled by head coach Alan Stubbs while in the second tier is the envy of the vast majority of Scottish Premiership sides.
Even if McCall can provide Rangers with the energy and self-belief which was sorely lacking under Kenny McDowall, one suspects they will struggle to match Dja Djedje’s conviction.
“Of course Hibs can still finish second. We have a great squad and it is getting stronger and stronger every week towards the end of the season,” said the former Paris Saint-Germain youngster.
“I think Hibs have a better team than Rangers.
“We have depth and a good balance. Of course Rangers have some good players but I believe we are better.
“Even in the Premier League I believe any team would like to have the team we have at the moment. First place is gone but we have the quality to finish second.
“We have a real depth – 15 or 16 players who could play very well in the team.”
Dja Djedje, a January addition to the Hibs ranks, headed home a dramatic 88th-minute winner in Wednesday evening’s 2-1 triumph over Livingston to ensure Stubbs’ side retained their five-point advantage over Rangers.
The two sides meet at Easter Road next Sunday, with the Edinburgh side looking to complete a memorable clean sweep in the league over the stricken Glasgow giants.
Hibs have already won twice at Ibrox – 3-1 and 2-0 – as well as the 4-0 thumping they handed out at home just after Christmas.
Hibs will be seeking to extend their current winning streak to seven in a row against Cowdenbeath this afternoon, while McCall will be in charge of Rangers for the first time at home to Livingston.
And Dja Djedje is acutely aware that neither side have any room for error ahead of that tantalising meeting next Sunday.
“It was vital to win on Wednesday night to keep our advantage over Rangers ahead of the match against them,” continued Dja Djedje.
“There is big pressure next week when they come to Easter Road.
“Any time they drop points, we need to take advantage, and we cannot stop winning if we want to stay ahead.”
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