Rangers' Philippe Clement clear festive commitment 'not sacrifice' but 'ambition'

Rangers manager Philippe Clement. (Photo by Steve Welsh/PA Wire)Rangers manager Philippe Clement. (Photo by Steve Welsh/PA Wire)
Rangers manager Philippe Clement. (Photo by Steve Welsh/PA Wire)
Philippe Clement stressed the need for his Rangers players to be 24/7 professionals as they plough their way through a busy festive period.

The Gers’ 2-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park on Christmas Eve took the Viaplay Cup winners to within two points of cinch Premiership leaders Celtic with a game in hand.

Rangers host Ross County on Wednesday, travel to Celtic Park on December 30 and face Kilmarnock at home on January 2 before the winter break and Clement is demanding focus.

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The Belgian boss said: “People call it sacrifice and for a lot of people it maybe feels that way.

“But if you want to be successful in our business or as an athlete, it is not sacrifice. It is ambition, it is what you want.

“You cannot say we leave these three games and see where we are at the end of the season. Then you will be very disappointed. So it is part of our lives.

“I wanted to see ambition and I have seen that during the last weeks, that it is a team with a lot of ambition.

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“It is taking care of your bodies now and let all your families and friends and everybody enjoy – at this moment it is full focus and focusing on recovery.

“It is in every top club in the world, every top, ambitious athlete who is successful is like that, otherwise you cannot have success and it is not only in football, in every sport, there are a lot of sports where it is even more difficult.

“I know some tri-athletes who are up at 5am in the swimming pool and they train all day until late in the evening. It is not sacrifice it is ambition,”

Clement noted that County’s home game against Hibernian on Saturday was called off due to inclement weather as he called on Rangers fans to get right behind their heroes again.

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He said: “I expect it is going to be a hard game. Unluckily for us, Ross County’s game was cancelled so they have a week to prepare and to be totally fresh.

“So we need to be on our toes again.

“I was really happy with our fans at Motherwell.

“It gave a lot of energy to the players, to hear them singing, to hear them shouting positively during the game to give real support and I expect that at Ibrox.

“Three massive games before the winter break and I expect everybody to be 200 per cent behind the team to give this extra energy.”