Clement says Rangers must be ‘on top of game’ against wounded Hearts

Rangers host Steven Naismith's Hearts side at Ibrox on Sunday.

Philippe Clement says Rangers must be ‘on top of game’ against wounded Hearts SNS Group

Philippe Clement’s focus is back fully on the Premiership following Rangers’ European exertions in the Czech Republic and is bracing his side for a testing outing against Hearts.

The Ibrox side fought out a goalless draw in their Europa League game against Sparta Prague on Thursday night, with the Light Blues moving on to four points in Group C ahead of the return game against the Czech side next month.

However, the Rangers boss began immediately preparing for domestic duties and the visit of the fourth-placed Jambos who are still smarting from their 4-1 home trouncing by leaders Celtic last weekend.

Clement said of the Edinburgh outfit: “They want to come back after losing a game. They’re now close to the top positions there.

“It’s a short recovery after the game. So our focus is now on that and doing the right things in this game against Hearts.

“They have a few interesting players. Striker (Lawrence Shankland) played in Belgium. I know that he played for my old team (Beerschot) where I started playing football, and he’s doing really well.

“It’s going to be a game that we want to be dominant.

“They’re going to play a transition game, they’re going to count on set-pieces, so we need to be on top of our game with and without the ball.”

Clement will continue to assess his squad before the January transfer window opens but a larger group of players from which to choose over a strenuous campaign is on the agenda.

He said: “In the next weeks and months we will make a good assessment to see what we need to do or not need to do in January, which positions we need to look for to make this squad better.

“It is an open period for the players to get chances and show themselves and I am looking at it that way.

“I am not working towards a starting 11 which is always the same. I want a bigger squad.

“If you want to compete in four competitions you need a squad with more players available and reach that quality you need every game, every three days. So it is a really interesting period.”

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