Rangers boss Philippe Clement insists his team are not giving much thought to the possibility of reaching the top of the Premiership this week, with the challenge of facing Aberdeen the focus for him and his players.
A win against the Dons at Ibrox on Tuesday night would see Rangers leapfrog Celtic to go top of the league, at least for 24 hours as Brendan Rodgers’ side don’t play Hibs until Wednesday.
Rangers are currently three points behind their rivals with a marginally worse goal difference but, crucially, with a game in hand. Asked if moving to the top of the table for the first time in his spell as manager had come into his thinking, Clement dismissed the notion.
“Totally not,” he said. “Zero. Nobody in the building is talking about that.
“We are just busy with our own game, having respect for our opponents, having respect for their qualities, trying to use their weaknesses, and taking the points and playing good football entertaining our fans and keeping this really strong mentality in the dressing room.
“I know what it takes to win trophies, I have been there enough times as a player and as a manager.
“There is only one way and to focus on yourself and play it game by game. People who look too far ahead they fail because they lose their focus.”
The immediate priority for Clement is to take three points from the visit of an Aberdeen side that drew with Celtic on Saturday and is now under new management. Neil Warnock took charge at Pittodrie on Monday and Clement knows the reputation of the experienced English manager.
He doesn’t expect the new Dons boss to change the style of the team drastically, and believes Aberdeen have a strong squad who should be in a higher league position.
“I know him of course, he has a long history in football but we have never met,” Clement said.
“He is someone with a lot of experience but I don’t think it will change a lot.
“I don’t think Aberdeen will play suddenly in a totally different style.
“I think the style they were playing is also the style he wants to see, so I don’t see big changes but whatever happens, we are ready for that.
“That is the good thing. The last couple of months we have met a lot of different playing styles and the team knows better and better how to react
“It is going to be a good battle.
“They are one of the three, four best teams in the league in quality of squad so I am a bit surprised about the position in the league but there are a few reasons for that in my mind – but I don’t want to speak about that, I want to speak about Rangers.
“It is a team with a lot of quality and we need to be at our best to take three points.”
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