Referee Willie Collum would have given a foul for dangerous play anywhere else on the pitch when Ianis Hagi’s high boot was aimed in his direction at Ibrox on Saturday, according to Hibs midfielder Joe Newell.

The midfielder was at the centre of one of two penalty calls from Hibs – the other came when Ryan Porteous took a tumble in the box following the close attentions of James Tavernier – with Newell insisting there would have been no ambiguity about the call from Collum had it been anywhere other than the penalty box.

“I think it is one of those that if it is on the half-way line it is a foul all day long,” he said.

“I have gone in to head it and I can’t actually tell you what has happened. I think he has booted the other side of the ball so I don’t know if there is actual contact, if there is a high boot it is dangerous play. It is a free-kick anywhere else on the pitch.

“If it is a penalty I think the ref is a wee bit more nervous to give it but I think it is a foul. 

“I said to him, ‘how is that not a thing?’ and he said I had ducked down but I don’t know. It is one of them. Referees have a tough job but if it is on the halfway line, he probably gives it. There was shout from a corner for us as well. To get results here you need to play and to get a wee bit of luck and decisions to go your way as well and we didn’t get them.”

Newell also suggested the way Rangers ran down the clock in the last few minutes of Saturday’s game was a compliment to the manner in which Hibs came back at the Ibrox side in the second period of the game.

Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor had one smart save to push away an effort from Melker Hallberg with Newell determined to draw the positives from the way that Hibs tried to match Rangers, even once they had conceded.

“I don’t see too many of Rangers’ game here at Ibrox but I can’t imagine that there are too many teams [they come up against] where they are protecting the ball in the corner and wasting time in the last five minutes,” he said. “That is not a dig at them. That is part and parcel of football but I think it shows some respect to us and how we played in the second-half.

“I thought we gave ourselves a good platform. We knew they would have a lot of possession and with the quality they have got we knew we had to be resolute and solid defensively and I thought we done that.

“Even when we lost the goal we didn’t panic and we didn’t change anything and then we came out in the second-half we had a bit of a go at them. I don’t think anyone would argue with that. I think we were probably the better team in the second-half and we tried to force the initiative a bit more and had the better chances. It was disappointing because we wanted to get something and I think we deserved that. 

“Like I said, I think it is rare that you will find them keeping the ball in the corner for the last five minutes. They know what we can do.

“The team had a good start to the season and performances like this give us confidence that we can kick on next year and be up there at the top of the table.

“It’s been a good first half and we’ll continue to be positive going forwards.”