SPL

Philippe Clement says his Rangers players should be motivated for every game

By Sports Desk November 03, 2023

Philippe Clement railed against the notion that his side could be extra motivated by the prospect of winning a trophy ahead of their Viaplay Cup semi-final against Hearts.

The Light Blues have not won the competition since March 2011 and if they get past the Jambos at Hampden Park on Sunday they will face either Aberdeen or Hibernian in the December final, where the first piece of silverware of the season will be up for grabs.

Clement, unbeaten in three games since taking over as boss from Michael Beale last month, had no time for the idea that his players will have additional hunger when they come up against a side that, coincidentally, they beat 2-1 in the cinch Premiership at Ibrox last weekend.

“I hate this ‘extra motivation’,” said the Belgian. “I want that they are motivated for everything. So, if I think, ‘oh, now they are motivated for the semi-final because we can win a cup’, it’s totally the wrong message.

“They need to be motivated every day, every game to show the best of themselves.

“A football career is so short for them, it goes so fast that they need to be motivated to take the best out if every day, they have the best life in the world and that’s what I want to see from my players. And then the other things follow.”

Clement revealed that defender Ben Davies remains a doubt with a “small problem” after missing the 5-0 win at Dundee in midweek and “there is a chance but no guarantee” that attacker Tom Lawrence will return, while John Souttar, Nico Raskin, Rabbi Matondo and Kemar Roofe remain out.

He also repeated his message to the Rangers fans to leave the “dangerous” pyrotechnics at home in future.

The match at Dundee on Wednesday night was delayed by 45 minutes after the Rangers team bus was held up in traffic and then suspended for 18 minutes after Gers supporters let off a large number of flares that triggered fire alarms under the stand.

The Scottish Professional Football League will liaise with police over the “very concerning” pyrotechnic display and the former Genk, Club Brugge and Monaco boss reiterated his thoughts on the matter.

He said: “I was clear what I said after the game but I will repeat it a last time.

“I loved when we came outside for the warm-up in Dundee, you see a lot of Rangers supporters, a lot of atmosphere, songs, chants, support for the team.

“It gives the team energy. The pyro thing we don’t need. It doesn’t give something extra. It is dangerous. So if they give all the other things I will be a very satisfied manager.

“It is good that there is rules because it is such a dangerous thing. I have seen it a lot in the past but it is good that there are strict rules because we need to avoid danger for people.”

Related items

  • Allegri says Juventus are victims of own success after clinching Coppa Italia final berth Allegri says Juventus are victims of own success after clinching Coppa Italia final berth

    Massimiliano Allegri declared Juventus have been victims of their own success this season after watching his Bianconeri side eliminate Lazio to reach the Coppa Italia final on Tuesday. 

    Juventus took a 2-0 lead into Tuesday's semi-final second leg at Stadio Olimpico but saw that advantage wiped out when Valentin Castellanos scored either side of half-time.

    However, a late strike from Arkadiusz Milik handed Juventus a 3-2 aggregate success and ensured they will appear in their eighth Coppa Italia final in the last 10 years.

    Despite Juventus having a chance to lift their first major trophy since 2021 and being on course for a return to the Champions League, Allegri has continued to be criticised by sections of the media.

    He believes Tuesday's achievement should be celebrated, however, saying: "It's never easy to reach a final, in the last three years we have played two Coppa Italia finals. 

    "Now we must concentrate on Serie A, as we have not yet achieved Champions League qualification and this weekend it's the head-to-head with Milan."

    Juventus sit third in Serie A ahead of Saturday's home clash with the Rossoneri, and with Italy guaranteed five Champions League places for next season, they are almost certain to be back among Europe's elite in 2024-25.

    However, Juventus' drop-off in the second half of the season has led to continued speculation regarding Allegri's future.

    At the turn of the year, Juventus were just two points behind Inter at the top of the table, but the Nerazzurri are now 22 points clear of their rivals and have clinched the Scudetto with five games to spare.

    Allegri believes a fine start to the season gave rise to unreasonable expectations in Turin, adding: "This final is also worth Supercoppa Italiana qualification, so that is important financially. 

    "Criticism will always be around Juventus, but it's our own fault for having a great first half to the season that nobody was expecting. 

    "At that point, people thought we could fight it out with Inter, but I was worried that we could have difficulties in the second half. We had a big advantage and mentally rather let go."

    Juventus will face either Atalanta or Fiorentina in next month's final, with the Viola holding a 1-0 lead in the other semi-final tie ahead of Wednesday's second leg in Bergamo. 

  • Gallagher insists Chelsea players are fighting for the shirt after Arsenal collapse Gallagher insists Chelsea players are fighting for the shirt after Arsenal collapse

    Conor Gallagher insists Chelsea's players are putting in the required effort amid fierce fan criticism in the aftermath of Tuesday's 5-0 defeat to Arsenal.

    Chelsea's miserable first season under Mauricio Pochettino took another turn for the worse at the Emirates Stadium as they were put to the sword by Mikel Arteta's title contenders.

    The Gunners racked up 27 shots at goal as they recorded their biggest ever victory over Chelsea, who looked devoid of inspiration with leading goalscorer Cole Palmer sidelined due to illness.

    During the game, one disgruntled travelling fan held up a banner which read: "I don't want your shirt, I just want you to fight for ours".

    The charge that Chelsea are not fighting for results was put to Gallagher by TNT Sports after the game, and the Blues' stand-in captain denied that was the case.  

    "We definitely are putting the effort in," Gallagher said. "I know how much it means to all the boys. It's a very young squad with not much experience as a team in the Premier League.

    "This season we've had a lot of ups and downs. We're still improving and working as a team to get to that next level.

    "Today was one of those days where we were nowhere near it and we need to dust ourselves off, look at the performance, where we can improve and all the mistakes we made."

    The defeat means Chelsea remain ninth in the Premier League table, three points adrift of sixth-placed Newcastle United and Manchester United in seventh, with both of those teams in action on Wednesday.

    Pochettino's men face another daunting task on Saturday when they travel to Champions League-chasing Aston Villa, before hosting Tottenham in another London derby next Thursday.

  • Harry Maguire accepts big changes 'rightly' coming at Man Utd Harry Maguire accepts big changes 'rightly' coming at Man Utd

    Harry Maguire accepts there will be big changes at Manchester United at the end of the season, but he says everyone at the club must remain together amid fierce criticism of their displays.

    United have endured a miserable second season under Erik ten Hag, sitting seventh in the Premier League table and 16 points adrift of the top four ahead of Wednesday's visit of Sheffield United.

    They could yet end the campaign with silverware after reaching the FA Cup final with Sunday's penalty shoot-out victory over Coventry City, but they have been heavily criticised after narrowly avoiding a humiliating loss in that semi-final.

    Ten Hag's men squandered a 3-0 lead and were fortunate to avoid a 4-3 defeat in the dying moments of extra time, when Victor Torp's potential winner was disallowed for a marginal offside call.

    Roy Keane said United's players looked "embarrassed" to win the tie, though Ten Hag later said it was the negative media coverage of his team that was embarrassing.

    Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of Wednesday's meeting with his former club, Maguire said: "I've been at this club a long enough time to know that the noise around the place is always here, whether it's with the manager or the players.

    "There are players under huge amounts of pressure and when you lose matches or go on bad runs, the manager comes under pressure as well.

    "We all know it's about maintaining our focus and aims for the season and sticking together. We believe that we can still achieve things this season.

    "We've got an FA Cup final, Premier League games to fight in and we're all in this together. The manager, the players, the fans, we all want the same thing and that's to be successful."

    United's players celebrated Sunday's win in a muted fashion, with the exception of winger Antony, who has been roundly mocked for cupping his ears to taunt Coventry's players. 

    Reflecting on the end of that game, Maguire said: "It was a really strange mix of emotions. I don't think we needed to celebrate too hard. 

    "We let ourselves down in the last 20 minutes of normal time and to play for this club, it involves huge responsibility, and we didn't take responsibility in that last 20 minutes.

    "You're coming to training the next day and you're in another FA Cup final. It's what you dream of playing in when you're a young boy, so the boys are really happy.

    "But like I said, the way the game ended, we were disappointed with the way we acted."

    A decision on Ten Hag's future is one of many which must be made by new minority shareholder Jim Ratcliffe in the coming weeks, after the INEOS founder was handed full control of football operations at Old Trafford. 

    Maguire has faith in INEOS to get things right in the close season, saying: "They've brought a lot of positivity to the club and to the fanbase. I think there will be changes and rightly so.

    "The club is wanting to get back to where it was 15 years ago, and that's fighting for the big trophies and league titles. I'm sure they have a plan."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.