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Hibernian winger Newell ready for festive rush

Joe Newell believes the festive rush could not have come at a better time for Hibernian.

The Easter Road men are on a roll following the appointment of new manager Jack Ross.

The former St Mirren and Sunderland boss has started his Leith reign with wins over Motherwell and his old Paisley side.

That has made it three triumphs in a row after caretaker Eddie May oversaw a 4-1 drubbing of St Johnstone in Perth earlier this month.

Hibs now have a busy run up to the New Year celebrations, with seven Ladbrokes Premiership games packed into the space of a month.

Kilmarnock at home on Saturday is first up but midfielder Newell says nobody in Ross’ dressing room is complaining about that hectic schedule as they look to bring the feel-good factor back after their miserable start to the campaign.

He said: “After the win on Saturday against Motherwell we had the St Mirren game on Tuesday and everybody was buzzing because when you’re winning you just want to keep on playing.

“When there are so many games in a short spell it’s always good and we have that now coming up.

“It’s a mentality thing. When you’re on a good streak and in good form, things seem to go for you. When you’re winning games you have that winning mentality-type thing and at the minute we feel like we’re not going to lose.

“That was evident on Tuesday night. Six weeks ago Christian Doidge’s header probably would have cannoned back off the defender and hit Doidgy in the face.

“But the way things are going at the minute, it’s flown in to the net and helped get us the win.”

Newell was among 10 players signed by Paul Heckingbottom in the summer.

But the recruitment drive failed and the former Leeds boss was axed after his side mustered just one win from their opening 11 league games.

However, with Ross now in charge, ex-Rotherham winger Newell believes it is a fresh start for the entire squad.

He said: “The new manager hasn’t said much to anyone in particular, let along the new signings. He’s come in and everybody is on a clean slate.

“You do feel like you have to prove yourself to him but I think that’s the same if you are Lewis Stevenson or a new signing.

“If you’ve been here a long time or have just signed, you want to impress the new manager and first impressions count.”