Rangers manager Philippe Clement has set out his intent to turn the team into “a machine” as he continues his work since joining the club last month.
Clement will take charge of his side in a home European match for the first time on Thursday when they face Sparta Prague at Ibrox and he is hoping to see more progress on the pitch.
Sunday’s win over Hearts put Rangers in the Viaplay Cup final and the manager hopes to continue to move forward, but says his vision is on the long-term and enjoying repeated success.
“It is just the start,” Clement said. “For me a good team is a team that does it for months.
“And of course there will be one moment where it will be less but in the next game there is a reaction.
“Of course I am happy with the way things are going but I am not like sitting on the sofa and thinking now we can let everything loose and the machine will go.
“I want to create a machine and I think it is possible with this group to create a machine that goes every time but we are not there yet.”
The Belgian believes that he will only get to know his players fully when he has seen them in a range of different situations and from that he will be able to judge how to get the best out of them both individually and as a group.
“We are in the building period, not just observing,” he said. “That’s always been the case but I don’t know everyone really well at the moment in every circumstances.
“I want to see how players react with the first disappointment or the first time they play a really good game and the next game they don’t start.
“I have that from the semi-final. There were players who played a really good game a few games before and then didn’t play in the semi-final. How is their reaction? Is it individual, or do they think collective?
“So I need an observation period for a few weeks, a few months to get the details of everybody and get the best out of everybody.
“Do I need to slap them more or need to be nice more? It is different for every player.”
Rangers face Sparta with the teams both sitting on four points in Europa League Group C. Real Betis lead the pack on six points, while Aris Limassol have one win and two losses from three games.
A win would see Rangers take a big step towards qualifying for the knockout stages and Clement says his team will go look to take three important points.
“European nights are always something special, they have always been.
“I love it and I hope it is a really positive atmosphere in the stadium.
“I always want to win and I want a team that always wants to win, if it is against Prague or Real Madrid, it doesn’t matter to me.
“I want a team who is ambitious and wants to win the game, I am not looking for a draw but it can be that at the end of the section that a draw is also important. But we are going for three points.”
The manager brushed off the frustration of not being able to call on Ridvan Yilmaz and Leon Balogun, who were not included in the UEFA squad by Michael Beale. Clement said he wouldn’t spend time thinking about things he could not change but he will also be without injured players for the game.
Nicolas Raskin and John Souttar are out with ankle and muscle problems respectively, while Scott Wright is “a serious doubt”.
Kemar Roofe, who has had long-standing injury problems, will be in the squad, though Clement believes he would only be able to contribute for “five or ten minutes”.
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