Philippe Clement wants more from his Rangers players after their 1-1 draw with Aris Limassol but stressed “Rome wasn’t built in a day” as he works to develop the team.
The Ibrox side’s Europa League hopes lie in the balance after they had to come from behind to draw with the Cypriot side on Thursday night.
The result means they are likely to need a point against Real Betis to avoid dropping to the Europa Conference League, though a win would see Rangers top the group.
Clement was disappointed with the defensive lapse that led to Aris taking the lead after half an hour and pleased with Ross McCausland’s equaliser but is keen to see his team on the front foot more.
The Belgian acknowledged it was early in his time in charge and said the team was working to improve in every area.
“I want to see more vertical passing, more runs in behind the defence,” Clement said. “I want to see more connection between players and we’re working hard on that.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day.
“There’s work to do. There are players coming into the team, and players coming back from injury.
“We have work to do but the positive thing is we are now nine games into working together and we didn’t lose one.
“Everybody is working hard, I can tell the fans that. They are working hard every day at the club to raise their level.
“We knew with all the injuries we’ve had that it’s impossible right now for all the team to be at their best level. But we have to play every three days and it’s impossible to do it all the time at the same level.
“We need to make rotation with the players and it’s about taking the best from everything.”
Reflecting on the game itself, the manager said he felt that some players showed nerves on the night. He also explained the thinking behind the early substitution that saw Todd Cantwell replaced, much to the attacker’s frustration.
Clement said: “We started the game good, with good pressing, but we missed also in the beginning of the game, the final pass.
“We had several good moments of really good pressing, winning the ball, then having an opportunity to put somebody alone in front of goal. But we missed the pass every time, so I felt some nervousness in the team more than than the week before, maybe because of the occasion. That’s something to work on, for sure.
“After that start, we got the goal against that was unnecessary and then we made it more difficult for ourselves.
“But we continued. Nobody gave up.
“I had to make a change early, that I don’t like to do, but we were missing width on the right side and we were missing depth also because we didn’t have running plays behind the defense or being high enough in position.
“I gave that message a few times to Todd but he was coming into the ball all the time, so that’s why I made the change and to use Ross, who was more the profile.”
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