Luis Palma struck a late winner as champions Celtic twice came from behind to see off St Mirren 3-2 on the final day of the Scottish Premiership season.

It was a day of celebrations at Celtic Park for Brendan Rodgers' side, who wrapped up their third successive domestic title in midweek.

However, St Mirren threatened to spoil the party when Mark O'Hara fired them in front after just seven minutes.

Top scorer Matt O'Riley equalised for the hosts in the 21st minute, but they fell behind again just five minutes later when O'Hara doubled his tally from the penalty spot after Stephen Welsh fouled Toyosi Olusanya.

Kyogo Furuhashi levelled for Celtic before half-time, and the Hoops completed the turnaround with Palma scored the winner with four minutes remaining.

Rodgers' side finished eight points clear of second-place Rangers, who were held to a 3-3 draw by Hearts.

Despite falling behind to Lawrence Shankland's strike, goals from Ross McCausland, Todd Cantwell and Fabio Silva seemingly had the visitors on course for a comfortable win at Tynecastle.

However, there was to be a late twist with Dexter Lembikisa pulling a goal back in the 82nd minute, before Kyosuke Tagawa struck deep into stoppage time to rescue a point for the hosts.

There was also nothing to separate Dundee and Kilmarnock, who drew 1-1 in the other match on the final day.

Luke McCowan cancelled out Gary Mackay-Steven's earlier effort, though the Dundee captain squandered a glorious opportunity to complete the turnaround when he missed a penalty two minutes from time.

Bullish Philippe Clement has challenged Rangers to make the rest of Europe sit up and take note by reaching the quarter-finals of the Europa League at the expense of Benfica.

The two sides are locked at 2-2 after the first leg in Lisbon and the Ibrox boss, who is ready to welcome influential midfielder Todd Cantwell back into his squad after injury, believes it would be a statement result for his players if they could eliminate the Portuguese title chasers on Thursday.

“We are not naive, we know that Benfica has a really talented squad with a lot of experience also,” Clement said at his pre-match press conference.

“They have World Cup winners in their team, they have a lot of really big talents who will go for a lot of money after this season maybe and other players who have played at a really high level before.

“We know it will be a really big surprise in all of Europe if we can take out Benfica, but we are really hungry to do that.”

Clement told his Rangers players that, if they have aspirations of playing at the very top level, then it is nights like Thursday when they can showcase their abilities.

“It would be something really exciting, because they will show something towards all of Europe (if they get through),” said the manager. “For their career, it can be something really special.

“When you do special things like this, you can come more into attention. I understand the story here in the club that if players can make a step higher than Rangers and there’s a good deal for the club, you need to accept that and find other players to replace them in a good way.

“So in evenings like this, they can make steps in that way. But the most important thing is to understand that it is not an individual thing to show yourself. They can only show themselves if they show themselves as a team.”

Clement admits Benfica are slight favourites, but having led former side Club Brugge to a 2-2 draw in the Bernabeu in October 2019, he will not allow his team to go into the match with any sense of inferiority in front of another capacity Ibrox crowd

“Yes, I think so,” he said when asked if Gers were the underdogs. “If you’re realistic, yes. But in my heart, no.

“I’m always a realistic guy, but I’m a realistic guy who sets the standards high and I know, and I’ve seen, that this team can do that. I told them before the Benfica game that with Brugge we drew 2-2 with Real Madrid and we deserved that.

“We could have won that one, but this Rangers team is better than that Brugge team, so I believe we can win against whatever team we play when things fall on our side. I really believe that.

“I know that Benfica rested four or five players at the weekend towards this game. But my players are ready, I saw enough today, I see the freshness is back, the hunger is really big.

“We know we need to play above our level to qualify, but we are going to do everything to do that and the support of the fans can give something extra.

“This game was sold out really fast. Although it is a really early kick-off and a lot of people have to take a day off work to get to the stadium, we could have sold the stadium two, three times.”

Dujon Sterling will miss out with a minor injury, while Ross McCausland is a doubt, but Cantwell is set to return after missing the last five matches with a hamstring issue.

“He is ready to play an amount of minutes,” said Clement. “He is clearly not ready for 90 minutes, so then it’s about deciding whether to start him or not.

“He feels good and he was good in the training so I’m happy to see him back.”

Philippe Clement declared Rangers as underdogs for the first time since he became manager after the Light Blues were drawn against Benfica in the last 16 of the Europa League.

The cinch Premiership leaders are scheduled to travel to Portugal for the first leg on March 7 before the return game at Ibrox a week later.

Benfica sit joint-top of the Portuguese Primeira Liga table with rivals Sporting Lisbon, having played a game more.

Clement, who took over the Ibrox hot seat from Michael Beale and who has dragged Rangers from seven points behind Celtic to two points clear of the Hoops at the top of the cinch Premiership ahead of the visit of third-placed Hearts on Saturday, surveyed a difficult but winnable European tie.

“It is a really exciting challenge because it is a very good team,” said the Belgian boss, who confirmed midfielder Todd Cantwell will be out for three to four weeks with a hamstring injury while striker Kemar Roofe returns to the squad after another lengthy spell out with injury.

“I think it will be the first game since I have been here that we have been underdogs in a game. That is the reality.

“I don’t see us as underdogs against Celtic. I see us as two teams at a similar level competing and so that is different to Benfica.

“I saw them last season against my old team Club Brugge and they were very impressive (won 7-1 on aggregate). But it doesn’t mean that we cannot qualify.

“We believe in our qualities and with the mentality that is in this group now, we can beat everybody but we have to be at our top form and we also need to have luck in key moments in the game.

“Of course European nights are important for the club and the stature of the club but you need to be realistic.

“You have to look at your budget, what you spent, the value of your squad and compare that.

“So in that way Benfica are in front of us but there is a really special story developing here and there is a lot of motivation, hunger and desire and with that we can do really amazing things so that is what we are going to try to do in those two games.”

Philippe Clement is happy to have a selection headache after Rangers closed the gap on cinch Premiership leaders Celtic with a commanding 3-0 win over Hibernian.

Defender Ridvan Yilmaz and midfielder Todd Cantwell gave the visitors a two-goal interval lead at Easter Road with substitute Cyriel Dessers adding a third in the second half to leave the Light Blues five points behind their Old Firm rivals with one game in hand.

Keeper Jack Butland chipped in with some crucial saves but Clement spoke in glowing terms about his whole squad.

“It is about everybody,” said the Rangers boss, who reiterated his earlier statement that Abdallah Sima would be out for “between two and three months” after having an operation on his thigh.

“To be honest, after a game like this, I don’t even remember who scored the goals because for me it is not important who scores.

“It’s scoring as a team and it is the same with Jack. He makes the saves because the other guys will get red cards if they make saves with their hands.

“But, for example, John (Souttar) also made a really good save with his chest. It’s a team effort. That’s what we wanted to create a few months ago. To see a team all the time on the pitch and the guys are doing that now.

“I hope also after several victories they keep on understanding where it is coming from. It is not falling out of the sky.

“It is about a lot of effort, a lot of solidarity and not having too big an ego to play for yourself.

“So I am going to be really strict on that and to look at the team and making team decisions.

“I told them after training yesterday [Tuesday] they give me quite a headache for the moment to pick a starting 11.

“But it is a good thing. I hope they give me a lot of headaches the next couple of months.”

Before the game Clement revealed the extent of Sima’s injury.

The 22-year-old Senegal international, who has scored 15 goals since arriving on loan from Brighton in the summer, was sent home from the Africa Cup of Nations after picking up the injury in training.

Clement told Rangers’ official website: “Abdallah had his operation and the surgeon was really happy with the way it went.

“It was a good operation, everything went well and he will be out for between two and three months.

“He is positive, he is someone who is always working hard and we expect him to be back as fast as possible in a healthy way and we can count on him at the end of the season.”

Hibs boss Nick Montgomery was left ruing some missed opportunities.

He said: “Myziane (Maolida) has a chance from six yards and it’s a top save from the goalkeeper.

“Those are the moments that change games. If that goes in it’s 2-1 the crowd lifts and I’m pretty sure we could have got back into the game. We would have been right in the ascendency.

“If you don’t take your chances you are going to start chasing the game and you can’t do that against a team like Rangers.”

Rangers closed the gap on cinch Premiership leaders Celtic with an impressive 3-0 win over Hibernian at Easter Road.

Defender Ridvan Yilmaz hammered in the opener for the Light Blues on the half-hour mark before midfielder Todd Cantwell arrowed in an unstoppable shot seconds before the break.

The quality of the goals was at odds with the error-strewn first 45 minutes and striker Cyriel Dessers added a third in the 74th minute soon after climbing off the bench to take his tally for the season to 11.

Hibs spurned some chances but ultimately Philippe Clement’s side moved five points behind their Old Firm rivals with one game in hand.

The home side went into the game looking for their first league win in four games and new boy Myziane Maolida, who joined on loan from Hertha Berlin last week, made his debut with fellow new signings Luke Amos and Emiliano Marcondes on the bench.

Nick Montgomery made five changes in total with Kanayo Megwa, Dylan Vente, Dylan Levitt and Jordan Obita also coming in.

The visitors had to contend with the absence of suspended centre-back Connor Goldson, his place taken by John Souttar with number one goalkeeper Jack Butland taking over from Robby McCrorie and a first competitive start for new loan signing Fabio Silva, in for Dessers.

As the smoke still cleared from the pyros displayed by the Gers fans, Hibs attacker Elie Youan’s angled-drive from a Levitt pass was blocked by the legs of Butland at his near post for a corner which came to nothing.

Gers winger Rabbi Matondo just failed to get on to the end of a Yilmaz corner which had been flicked on to the back post.

The game drifted through the first half but burst into life when Gers midfielder John Lundstram picked out Yilmaz with a chipped pass and the Turkish left-back lashed a shot high past keeper David Marshall from 12 yards for his first league goal for Rangers.

Hibs had chances to level. Butland saved again at his near post, this time from Jair Tavares and then Youan headed a Joe Newell free-kick inches wide before testing Butland with a drive from the edge of the box which was tipped over for another fruitless corner.

Hibs were well in the game but their task became more difficult when Cantwell, who had been quiet, took a pass from winger Ross McCausland and thundered a drive from the edge of the box past the diving Marshall for his third goal in five matches.

The former Norwich player and Nico Raskin stayed in at the break, replaced by Tom Lawrence and Dujon Sterling but Rangers started the second half in a strong position.

However, in the 52nd minute Maolida should have reduced the deficit from 14 yards after Youan had set him up with a cut-back but his drive was saved by Butland.

Marcondes, who joined Hibs from Bournemouth on Monday, replaced Maolida to make his debut with Jimmy Jeggo on for Newell.

Before long midfielder Luke Amos, signed earlier in the day on an 18-month contract after leaving QPR at the end of last season, also came on to make his debut.

However, it was Gers substitute Dessers, just on for Silva, who trundled the ball over the line from 10 yards despite the efforts of defender Will Fish to clear, and there was time for Lawrence to stab the ball into the net from a Jack cross before being ruled offside.

Rangers beat Motherwell 2-0 at a wet and wild Fir Park and return to chasing the heels of cinch Premiership leaders Celtic.

Kieran Dowell started and finished the move for the opening goal in the fourth minute before fellow midfielder Todd Cantwell fired in a second after 16 minutes of a first half which should have brought more goals, but in a wind-affected encounter the early brace proved enough.

The Light Blues moved back to being two points behind their Old Firm rivals with a game in hand and now turn their focus to Ross County on Wednesday night, with the crucial encounter at Celtic Park on December 30 now looming large.

Philippe Clement has gone 16 games unbeaten since taking over from Michael Beale in October but, by contrast, the Steelmen have gone 15 games without a win and they remain five points ahead of second bottom Livingston.

Boss Stuart Kettlewell must wonder how and when they are going to turn it around as he prepares for the trip to Aberdeen in midweek.

An increasing injury list amid a hectic fixture schedule saw Clement make four changes, with Leon Balogun, Cantwell, Dujon Sterling and Cyriel Dessers returning with the home side unchanged.

It was a nightmare start for Kettlewell’s side who soon found themselves a goal down.

Dowell robbed Harry Paton at the edge of the Motherwell penalty area and played a one-two with Dessers before blasting the ball high past Well keeper Liam Kelly for his second goal for the Light Blues since signing in the summer from Norwich.

Well wobbled further when asked to defend.

Balogun headed a Ross McCausland cross over the bar from close range before Kelly made a save from a Connor Goldson header.

However, the second goal was on its way, arriving when left-back Ridvan Yilmaz’s cross into the box was controlled by Abdallah Sima with Cantwell running in to sweep the ball low past the diving Kelly.

A speculative drive from Callum Slattery which skipped past the Rangers goal was their only real response.

Dessers and Goldson both failed to finish from just yards out and Kelly saved a low drive from Dessers as Rangers sporadically threatened.

In the 35th minute, with the rain still cascading amid swirling wind, Dessers swung and missed the ball after Kelly had parried an angled-shot from McCausland.

Motherwell stuck to their considerable task but they could not get through to Gers keeper Jack Butland and it was Kelly who was called into action again just before the break, tipping a Cantwell drive over the bar, but the home side eventually emerged unscathed.

Motherwell, with Paul McGinn on for centre-back Bevis Mugabi, caused some problems for the Govan side at the start of the second half and Brodie Spencer headed wide from a Mika Biereth cross when he ought to have hit the target.

There was a Motherwell penalty shout in the 75th minute when Yilmaz bumped Spencer to the ground inside the Gers box but referee David Dickinson was unmoved and the Rangers escaped a melee in their penalty area moments later.

The home side’s fightback fizzled out.

Dessers had the ball in the Well net in the 82nd minute and again in stoppage time but was twice ruled offside, and there was also a VAR check for a possible penalty for handball in the Rangers box that came to nothing.

Rangers suffered another selection blow ahead of two crucial matches after Todd Cantwell was ruled out of the trip to Spain.

The former Norwich midfielder will not feature in the Europa League decider against Real Betis on Thursday because of personal reasons.

Manager Philippe Clement was already missing Ryan Jack, Tom Lawrence and Nico Raskin from his midfield through injury as Rangers chase the win they need to guarantee progress.

Clement experienced other bad news this week. Ecuador midfielder Jose Cifuentes lost his appeal against the red card he received against Dundee on Saturday, which rules him out of Sunday’s Viaplay Cup final against Aberdeen through suspension.

And striker Danilo has been ruled out for several months with the knee injury he suffered in last Wednesday’s win over Hearts.

Clement said: “Todd is not here because of personal circumstances, and he wants to keep it personal, so we respect that. It’s nothing between the club and him, or me and him, it’s just family-wise.

“There’s a really big chance (he will be available for Sunday) but it’s not guaranteed.

“I hoped Ryan would be back but it’s not the case. Danilo will be out for several months, but I don’t want to pinpoint on an exact number of months for now until is all clear.

“I was surprised with the Cifuentes decision. None of the Dundee players reacted at the time. They just continued to attack as it was a duel with a contact. It is disappointing to lose the player for two games. But I don’t have any power in that so we will focus on the guys who are available.”

Clement is also without midfielder Kieran Dowell and defenders Leon Balogun and Ridvan Yilmaz, who are not in the club’s European squad.

“It’s quite a list of players injured and not on the European list. But it’s about the guys who are here,” he said. “They are here with ambition and to prove themselves as a team.

Rangers will go through to the knockout stages regardless of the result in Seville if Sparta Prague fail to beat Aris Limassol in Cyprus. But victory for the Czechs would leave Rangers needing to beat Betis to finish in the top two, a result which would seal top spot in Group C.

The Ibrox club are assured of European football beyond Christmas with third place sealing entry to the Conference League knockout stages.

Betis are unbeaten at home in LaLiga this season and have won both of their Group C games on home territory.

Clement said: “We have a lot of respect for them but we come here with ambition. Rangers have nothing to lose. We are in Europe next year but we want to make the next step. This may be the biggest challenge until now and we go all out for it.

“Real Betis is a different style than what we have faced. Real Madrid didn’t win here which shows how big a test it is but I feel something special in the group. I can see a really good dynamic growing in the dressing room. Everyone stays confident even after going behind.

“I see several players becoming better and better, we need to continue that story against a really good opponent.”

Meanwhile, Alex Rae has been confirmed as first-team coach on an ongoing basis after returning to Ibrox when Steven Davis took caretaker charge and staying on under Clement and assistant Stephan van der Heyden.

The former Gers midfielder told the club’s official website: “Everyone knows how much this club means to me and I am determined to help the gaffer and Stephan bring silverware back to Rangers.

“We are still in four competitions and we have a lot to look forward to this season.”

Todd Cantwell gave Rangers boss Philippe Clement the post-European response he was looking for with two assists in a 2-0 win over St Mirren at Ibrox.

The former Norwich player was replaced after just 35 minutes of the 1-1 Europa League draw against Aris Limassol on Thursday night after not playing the wide-right position to his manager’s satisfaction.

After a pep-talk from the Belgian, Cantwell was moved into the middle for the visit of the Buddies and helped set up Abdallah Sima for his two goals, which took the Light Blues to within eight points of leaders Celtic having played a game fewer.

“We talked about the game on Thursday and he agreed that he was not doing what he should do,” said Clement,  who revealed that absent midfielder Nico Raskin has a “really small” chance of being back for the Viaplay Cup final against Aberdeen at Hampden Park on December 17.

“He was frustrated himself about that. So this was the reaction I wanted to see.

“It’s a team sport. Otherwise we need to become a tennis player or something.

“You’re part of a team, Todd is part of a team and we talked about that. We know it’s a better position for him but we also have to look at the other circumstances with all the injurie on the right side.

“We didn’t have many players available and he did a good job there also.

“Don’t forget this. Against Sparta Prague he was one of the best players. And he knows that.

“He stays available to play on the right side or the left side. About that we also had a really clear talk.”

Raskin has been out since injuring his ankle against Hearts on October 29 and it was not positive news that Clement delivered, albeit fellow midfielder Ryan Jack could return soon.

He said: “Ryan Jack will not be so long. Nicolas Raskin will have a new assessment in the beginning of the week because his rehab is not going well.

“So I’m not so happy about that but it’s the way it is. We need to find other solutions.

“I think the chance is really small for the moment (to make final). But I’m not a doctor and I’m for sure not a specialist in these things.

“We will go to the best people to find the best and fastest solution.”

St Mirren ended the weekend in fourth place and now have won only two of their last 10 matches in all competitions.

However, manager Stephen Robinson did not criticise his players.

He said: “I’m not sure what people expect when you look at the resources. We had a loss of £1.6 million when I arrived and now we’re sitting fourth with no debt.

“The only people that deserve credit for that are the players.

“They are the ones that have turned it round, they have made the crowds come back and they are the ones selling merchandise.

“They are putting performances in on the pitch so they won’t get any criticism from me.

“They are brilliant, brilliant boys with 100 per cent commitment and enthusiasm.

“They play for the badge every single week and I’ve got nothing but praise for this group of players.”

Philippe Clement warned his Rangers players that Europa League knockout football is not yet assured despite a 2-1 win over Sparta Prague taking them in to second place in Group C.

In a thrilling first-half performances Brazilian striker Danilo got the breakthrough after 11 minutes before midfielder Todd Cantwell added a second in the 20th minute but the second half was not so convincing.

Sparta substitute Lukas Haraslin reduced the deficit in the 77th minute and although Danilo soon had the ball in the net again it was ruled out after VAR check for a foul and in the end the Light Blues were glad to hang on.

Real Betis have nine Group C points, Rangers have seven, Sparta Prague have four and Aris Limassol just three.

Rangers host Aris Limassol later in the month and can confirm qualification with a victory before concluding their campaign next month with a trip to Spain to face Real Betis.

However, Clement said: “If there is one thing I don’t want is that the players now think that we are qualified.

“We made a really important step forward that is true but we don’t have anything in our heads for the moment.

“We need to get our points against Aris or against Betis, we still have two games to go.

“It is focus and concentration to try to get three points out of every game and we know that football is a game that you don’t always get what you deserve. There can be circumstances that can go against you so we have to be at the top level every time.”

Clement is unbeaten in six games since taking over the Gers hot seat from Michael Beale – the only blip was a goalless draw against Sparta Prague away – and he claimed the first half was the best so far as he called for a complete 90-minute performance.

He said: “If you see the strength of the opponent, this is the best team we have played against until now, as we did in Prague (0-0).

“The first half  was really good, I want to see that football for 90 minutes, that is the goal.

“We could not do that from the situation we were in a few weeks ago, we need more time for that, to get everyone at the top physical level to do the distances, intensity and high speeds with and without the ball.”

Sparta Prague boss Brian Priske, a former team-mate of Clement at Club Brugge, conceded that Rangers were the better side on the night.

He said: “Yes they were, we have to admit it. Over 90 minutes for sure, they were the better side.

“The first half they really punished us, they played well, created big chances and we struggled creating chances and defending as we normally do.”

Rangers moved clear into second place in Europa League Group C with what turned out to be a nervy 2-1 win over Sparta Prague at Ibrox.

The two sides fought out a goalless draw in the Czech Republic last month but it took only 11 minutes for Brazilian striker Danilo to get the breakthrough before midfielder Todd Cantwell added a second in the 20th minute.

The visitors smartened up after the break however, with substitute Lukas Haraslin reducing the deficit in the 77th minute and although Danilo soon had the ball in the net again it was ruled out after VAR check for a foul and in the end the home players and fans were glad to hear the final whistle.

Philippe Clement has now gone six games unbeaten since taking over as Light Blues boss and incremental improvement is clear, but they were holding on at the end.

Real Betis have nine points, Rangers have seven, Sparta Prague have four and Aris Limassol just three.

Rangers host Aris Limassol later in the month before concluding their campaign next month with a trip to Spain to face Real Betis and there is plenty still at stake.

The home side were buoyed by their commanding 3-1 Viaplay Cup semi-final win over Hearts on Sunday and Clement made one change with centre-back Ben Davies in for Leon Balogun, who, along with left-back Ridvan Yilmaz, was not included in the European squad by former boss Michael Beale.

Rangers’ first chance came in the fifth minute when a cut-back from Cantwell just missed the sliding Danilo, wearing a mask again to protect a cheekbone injury.

However, the Gers striker soon took advantage of a horror mistake by the visitors, intercepting a lazy backpass from defender James Gomez before racing through to slip the ball past keeper Peter Vindahl for his third goal in four games.

The Czech side were rattled and Vindahl soon had to make a save from a spectacular Cantwell effort.

At the other end, Rangers keeper Jack Butland tipped a header from Gomez over the bar for another corner which came to nothing, before Rangers stretched the lead.

Danilo took possession deep in the visitors’ half, moved the ball onto the right-hand side for Cantwell who turned back inside Gomez before bending a drive into the far corner for his first goal of the season and once again the home fans were celebrating.

Sparta players came together in an impromptu ring to try to sort things out but it got no better.

In the 27th minute a poor clearance from Sparta captain Asger Sorensen from an Abdallah Sima cross ended at the feet of Danilo and he smashed the outside of the post with a drive from 16 yards and 10 minutes later skipper James Tavernier came close with a 25-yard free-kick.

Gomez was having a torrid night and his slip allowed Cantwell  to run clear on to a Connor Goldson pass but his unconvincing shot was blocked by the foot of Vindahl.

There was no surprise when Gomez failed to emerge for the second half with Victor Olatunji also staying inside as Qazim Laci and Tomas Wiesner came on for Czech side who began to push Rangers back for the first time, with Laci sending a header past the post just after the hour mark.

Clement’s side could not get going and in the 69th minute Cantwell made way for  young attacker Ross McCausland to give a much-needed energy boost to the Govan side.

Still Sparta had the upper hand and Haraslin just missed the target with a shot into the ground following a corner.

Vindahl made saves from McCausland and midfielder Ryan Jack as Rangers tried to reassert themselves but they found themselves under real pressure when Haraslin played a one-two with Angelo Preciado and swept the ball into the net from 10 yards.

Danilo looked like he had immediately restored Rangers’ two-goal lead but Italian referee David Massa checked his pitch side monitor and decided that the Gers attacker had tripped Serensen to get his chance.

Butland made a fine save from Haraslin’s powerful drive as Rangers defended desperately for a valuable three points which looked like being a lot easier earned at the interval.

Philippe Clement stated that he is “not Harry Potter” as he warned Rangers fans not to expect too much too soon against Hibernian on Saturday.

The 49-year-old Belgian took over as boss at Ibrox on Sunday following the departure of Michael Beale and inherited a seven-point gap between the Light Blues and cinch Premiership leaders Celtic.

Jose Cifuentes returned from international duty with Ecuador with a knock and Tom Lawrence and Rabbi Matondo remain out.

Midfielders Ryan Jack and Todd Cantwell are back in the squad although the latter, along with attacker Kemar Roofe, is not fit for 90 minutes. Brazilian striker Danilo, who is recovering from a severe facial injury, is available again.

The former Genk, Club Brugge and Monaco boss referenced Potter, the young wizard from novels written by British author JK Rowling, as he spoke about the visit of Hibs.

“I hope they see a difference but I am not Harry Potter with the magic stick who can change everything suddenly,” said Clement.

“It doesn’t work that way. It is a tough balance coming in during a season and it is not the first time, it was the same at Genk and Monaco.

“When you come in during the season you have to analyse what is good and what can be better and then prioritise the most important things to make better this week and the next week because if I try to do everything at one moment I kill the players.

“So it needs to be step by step. It is about analysing everything, the way I want to implement things.

“It is never perfect from the beginning. That is impossible but I see the good intentions, in staff and with the players, and the international players are now back in the last two days. I am looking forward to the first game and seeing how fast the little seeds we have planted will grow.

“I see a lot of good things here but a lot of things we need to make better and we need to focus on that now and make them better.

“I know a game is different from training, there is another atmosphere and tension so I don’t expect the perfect game tomorrow.

“I expect there will be things that go wrong but how you react at those moments is important and that they are open to learning and make it better and better.”

Stephan van der Heyden was earlier confirmed as Clement’s assistant.

The 54-year-old, who first worked with Clement in 2011 at Club Brugge, was most recently assistant at Kerala Blasters in India and has also coached in Belgium, Macedonia and Jordan.

Van der Heyden told the club’s official website: “I am looking forward to this challenge, it will be a big one but I think it is a great club.

“One of the most beautiful things about football is that you meet different people and different cultures, not only football culture but cultures in general.

“One thing in common is the supporters, they all expect the best from the team. The first impressions are good, I’m sure we can do something here and we can achieve something together.”

Todd Cantwell believes Rangers will come back next season ready to battle for honours.

A trophyless campaign for the Govan club has four cinch Premiership games remaining following the 1-0 win over Aberdeen at Ibrox on Sunday where the former Norwich player, who joined Michael Beale’s squad in January, scored the only goal of the game.

Rangers have been linked with several players including Cantwell’s former Carrow Road team-mate Kieran Dowell, but the 25-year-old midfielder knows what is expected next season, no matter who is at the club.

He said: “Playing for Rangers – you’ve got a big responsibility.

“This season hasn’t gone how we wanted to go so it’s important for us next season to be in a great position to change the outcome.

“Pre-season is always important. I know the manager is looking at recruitment but it’s also important for us as individuals to get your body in the place where you are ready to start the season well.

“In terms of recruitment, it’s kind of irrelevant because you’ve a group of players in pre-season all fighting to be in the starting 11.

“We’ve got everything to play for next season and the hunger in the dressing room will be real.

“Whoever comes in, whoever leaves, whoever is playing for Rangers, it’s important to know you’ll be fighting for your spot and to win every game.”

On the link with Dowell, Cantwell said: “He’s a good player. He’s someone I enjoyed playing with, we had success at Norwich and he’s a top lad.

“None of that is really to do with me. It’s the manager’s choice, the club’s choice and his choice.

“If that is something that happens then I’m sure the Rangers fans will be happy.”

Cantwell would recommend Scottish football to players from the English Championship but said: “It’s important you weigh up your opportunities.

“I can only speak for myself but it was a massive decision but also one that I’m really proud of making.

“It’s not something that is particularly common and I saw it as an opportunity to come up here and show what I’m about.”

Todd Cantwell’s terrific second-half volley was enough to give Rangers a 1-0 cinch Premiership win over Aberdeen at Ibrox.

On the day Celtic retained the league title with a 2-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle, the former Norwich midfielder gave the home fans something to cheer about in the 65th minute with a fine finish from a James Tavernier corner.

Barry Robson’s rejuvenated Dons beat Rangers 2-0 at Pittodrie two weeks ago in the last game before the split and they had their chances again but it turned out to be a first defeat in eight for the third-placed visitors.

Michael Beale’s side had lost three out of their last four, including a Scottish Cup semi-final loss to Celtic at Hampden Park last Sunday, so will welcome a return to winning ways, albeit via a patchy performance.

The fall-out from the Celtic defeat put pressure on the Gers boss, who has not beaten the Hoops in four attempts since taking over from Giovanni van Bronckhorst in November.

With Malik Tillman, Ryan Kent and Borna Barisic out injured, some of the changes the former QPR boss had promised were enforced.

Ridvan Yilmaz came in at left-back and there was a new front three of Ianis Hagi, Fashion Sakala and Rabbi Matondo.

Veteran goalkeeper Allan McGregor dropped out the squad altogether to be replaced by Robby McCrorie, playing for the first time since a 1-0 win over Celtic in August 2021.

Dons right-back Hayden Coulson took over from Ross McCrorie, twin brother of the Rangers keeper, with the firepower coming in the shape of attackers Luis ‘Duk’ Lopes and Bojan Miovski, who have scored 18 goals apiece for Aberdeen so far this season.

Rangers made a bright start, with Cantwell twice going close from decent drives.

McCrorie showed his worth in the 27th minute when, after Sakala lost possession, Miovski broke clear of the Gers defence and squared to Duk inside the box but the home keeper blocked the angled drive for a corner which came to nothing.

In the 34th minute, Connor Goldson grappled with Duk at the edge of Rangers penalty area but only a corner was given, perhaps fortunately for the Light Blues defender.

Rangers stepped up the pressure and Aberdeen keeper Kelle Roos saved a Hagi header under pressure from Sakala before making a great block from the Zambia international’s close-range drive, then saving a Tavernier shot just before the break.

Amid all that, Duk escaped the Gers defence only to chip the ball over the bar from the edge of the box with only McCrorie to beat.

Rangers, with John Souttar replacing injured centre-back Ben Davies just before the interval, went close at the start of the second half when Aberdeen captain Jonny Hayes inadvertently smashed a Matondo cut-back against his own crossbar.

Sakala had the ball in the net in the 51st minute but was ruled offside before McCrorie tipped a Mattie Pollock header over the bar following a Dons corner.

However, Rangers eventually forged ahead when Cantwell dropped off to the back of the penalty area to volley Tavernier’s deep corner low into the corner of the net, with Hayes on the line but appearing to think the ball was going wide.

Beale immediately brought on Alfredo Morelos, Scott Arfield, Glen Kamara and Scott Wright for Hagi, Sakala, Matondo and Raskin and the final stages were suitably disjointed.

Aberdeen went all out for the leveller and in the 83rd minute McCrorie again blocked a shot from substitute Shayden Morris with his foot as Rangers saw the game out.

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