SPL

Philippe Clement insists Rangers need to be more clinical

By Sports Desk December 06, 2023

Philippe Clement wants to see a ruthless Rangers side following their narrow and nervy 1-0 cinch Premiership win over Hearts at Tynecastle.

Abdallah Sima, on loan from Brighton, scored the crucial goal after 34 minutes – his 12th of the season – but also missed a chance with striker Danilo and left-back Ridvan Yilmaz, among others, wasting opportunities.

The Light Blues remain eight points behind leaders Celtic having played a game less and the Belgian has now gone 11 matches unbeaten since becoming boss but noted the possibility of a Jambos equaliser.

“For sure it’s a very important win,” said Clement, who revealed midfielder Tom Lawrence will be assessed on Thursday morning due to a muscle injury.

“We created a lot of chances but that’s still a working point.

“We need to be more clinical. We need to kill off the game if we can and get the second goal, it would have been a different end to the game because it allowed Hearts to stay in the game and with every long ball or long throw, they were looking for the chance that drops to someone’s feet to finish off.

“We had five big chances but for me, with our qualities, it should be at least three goals. So more things to work on.”

Left-back Borna Barisic missed the game with a muscle problem and after losing Lawrence again, Clement was bemoaning the injury problems which have concerned him since taking over as Rangers boss.

He said: “We need to assess that (Lawrence) tomorrow, that’s the downside.

“It’s not good to change players in the first half. We’ve lost Borna before this game. It’s difficult more me in this moment because I have never had it in a team that I worked with, that so many players fall out injured.

“We also don’t have the time to train them and make them stronger because we have game by game by game. We need a lot of good work until January, until then we need to puzzle every time to find the best 11 for that game and make the right changes.

“Borna is a small muscle problem so I don’t know how long he will be out. Tom is also a muscle problem, we will see tomorrow if it is bad or not.”

It was a third defeat by Rangers inside six weeks and Hearts boss Steven Naismith was left ruing missed chances which proved more costly.

He said: “It turned out a tight game. We started OK, when we moved the ball we did all right but at times we either took too long or made too safe a pass.

“We had the biggest chance with Alex (Cochrane) which came from a good move. It doesn’t go in and then we lose a really poor goal.

“For them to have a throw-in in their defensive third and within a few passes they get a chance, we didn’t cover ourselves in glory with that.

“It’s important in those moments that you don’t unravel like you’ve seen probably over the years. We managed to stay in the game. We changed the shape.

“Rangers had a few chances but we defended well. They missed the chances and Zander (Clark) came up with a couple of good saves.

“I think the change of shape helped us. We had more of an attacking threat and then we had a couple of chances towards the end. I’m disappointed not to take anything from the game.”

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