Clement: Scottish Cup final defeat has to be fuel for Rangers players

The Rangers boss was unhappy with a game-changing decision before Celtic's winner.

Rangers manager Philippe Clement hopes his players use the disappointment of their cup final defeat as “fuel” to come back better next season.

The Ibrox side endured heart-breaking defeat as Adam Idah scored a 90th minute goal to win the Scottish Cup for Celtic and ensure they were celebrating clinching the double at the national stadium.

After being forced to watch their rivals party on the Hampden turf at full-time, Clement hopes the players use the experience to spur them to success next season.

“This needs to give then fuel to come back after the summer and work really hard in preparation,” the Belgian said.

“They feel how close it is and next season (what’s needed) to win these type of games. That’s also experience. Look at the age of the two squads today.

“They need to take this experience and take fuel out of it to become better, to work hard, to get the details and I’ve seen a lot becoming better in the last couple of months.

“If you look at the game they played today, I don’t think anybody expected that six months ago.

“It’s about grabbing these moments and we’re going to work on that.”

Rangers thought they had taken the lead in the final when Abdallah Sima bundled the ball over the line from a corner but the goal was chopped off following a VAR review with referee Nick Walsh ruling that Joe Hart had been fouled by Nicolas Raskin after the Rangers midfielder pushed the Celtic goalkeeper.

Clement disagreed with that call and said that it was a huge moment in the game. He believes that if the goal had stood, Rangers would have scored a second and lifted the trophy.

The Rangers boss said: “You get the scenario that if you score goals and they are disallowed in that way then that’s also in that moment a disappointment if I compare it to the push that Liam Scales gave to Dujon Sterling in the first half.

“If I see also how Celtic are grabbing my players with an arm around their neck and waist then it’s a really big call to make to disallow that goal.

“The officials are honest and make their decisions but it’s a grey area, not black and white. They made their decision but of course as a manager you’re disappointed about that.

“I’m sure if we had scored and gone 1-0 then we would have scored a second and would win the game. Everybody felt we had control of the game. Celtic was getting really tired.

“It’s about one small detail and one big decision today. Otherwise we go 1-0 in front and we were the better team at that moment and there comes even more space.

“I don’t think that we could have done much more. Yes, we could have done some things better but that’s on the other side too. I don’t think they expected this kind of game today.

“The team is taking steps and it’s now about finding the right decisions, how to rebuild the team and make it stronger again for next season.”

Clement also absolved Jack Butland of blame for Celtic’s goal. The Rangers goalkeeper stopped Paulo Bernardo’s shot from distance but the ball fell to the feet of Adam Idah and the Celtic striker tucked away the rebound.

Asked if Butland could have done better, the manager said: “I don’t think so. It’s a really difficult shot.

“In the rest of the game Jack was really good, and Joe Hart was really good.

“You can always say he should have pushed the ball to the sides but this ball was really moving and that’s an unlucky moment.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code