Clement: Rangers at end of a cycle


Philippe Clement believes Rangers are “at the end of a cycle” and has promised
big changes at Ibrox next season with the support of the board.

The Belgian replaced Michael Beale as Gers boss last October but, while he brought the League Cup back to Ibrox, he was unable to reclaim the Premiership title from Celtic, with the Hoops confirming another title win with a 5-0 win over Kilmarnock on Wednesday night.

Rangers face Celtic in the Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park on May 25, but Clement is also looking towards next season and, although he again bemoaned the club’s injury problems, other areas of concern will be addressed.

“There will be changes, we need changes,” said the Gers boss ahead of the final league game of the season against Hearts on Saturday.

“I think as a club we are in some ways at the end of a cycle. So we need to change some things. The fitness is not good enough to play three games a week at high intensity, that is the reason for so many injuries.”

Attacker Abdallah Sima and midfielder Ryan Jack are back in contention from a list of 11 players unavailable for the 5-2 win over Dundee on Tuesday night and could get “some minutes” at Tynecastle.

Defender Leon Balogun is a doubt, while Ridvan Yilmaz is unable to start the game after returning recently from injury.

Abdallah Sima and Ryan Jack are available for Rangers after injury
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Abdallah Sima and Ryan Jack are available for Rangers after injury

“I want to end this cycle with a really big moment next Saturday so they end the cycle in a really good way,” added Clement.

“Very importantly, I had very good talks with the board about my ideas, what to change, towards recruitment, towards positions, all those things.

“Let’s say we are aligned in almost everything, which is a big thing. In a lot of clubs it is sometimes more difficult.

“So that’s the first step, the second step is to do it of course. You can have amazing plans but you have to execute them.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Rangers' Borna Barisic and Jose Cifuentes at full time during a UEFA Europa League group stage match between Rangers and Aris Limassol at Ibrox Stadium, on November 30, 2023, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
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Borna Barisic is among the Rangers players out of contract in the summer

“So we are still busy looking at all the departments and what we can do better next season.

“I am really convinced the will from the club is there and they were honest with me with what was going wrong with the club six months ago. I feel everyone is engaged to make things better.”

Clement replied in the affirmative when asked if the overhaul was bigger than he first thought.

He said: “There are several things I want to change and we are in talks about that at the club. At the moment I think I am doing too much, it needs to be better delegated.

“Some things didn’t surprise me because the club was honest, but the injury issue has been bigger than I expected.”

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