Clement looks forward with optimism as Rangers reach 'end of a cycle'

The manager says he and the board are 'aligned' as they plan recruitment and changes.

Rangers manager Philippe Clement believes the Ibrox side are reaching ‘the end of a cycle’ and he has plans in place to make changes this summer.

The Belgian took over in October following the sacking of Michael Beale and guided the team to League Cup triumph but Celtic won the Premiership title this week after winning a decisive derby last Saturday.

The Glasgow sides will meet again in the Scottish Cup final and whether Rangers add a second trophy or finish with further disappointment, Clement sees the conclusion of the season as a point of change.

The manager said the club “needs” changes and in addition to a turnover of players he has repeatedly suggested that he wants to make alterations behind the scenes to prevent a repeat of the frequent injuries he has had to contend with since arriving at Ibrox.

Clement admitted the injury situation had been bigger than expected and that he was “doing too much”, with better delegation needed but he believes that changes will improve the situation and the team.

“I think as a club we are in some ways at the end of a cycle,” he said. “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.”

A number of first team players, including John Lundstram, Borna Barisic and Leon Balogun, are out of contract in the summer, while others like Abdallah Sima and Fabio Silva are coming to the end of their loan spells.

The manager has been working on identifying new recruits and says that the Ibrox hierarchy is on the same page as him when it comes to new signings and improvements off the pitch.

Clement said: “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.

“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.”

Before looking to the Scottish Cup final, Rangers finish their league campaign with a trip to Tynecastle on Saturday.

After having 11 first team players missing in midweek, the situation has improved slightly with Abdallah Sima and Ryan Jack available to “get some minutes” against Hearts.

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