Rangers told to step it up as mixed news given on injury front ahead of facing Aberdeen

Philippe Clement’s men return to action this weekend against Aberdeen at Pittodrie

Philippe Clement concedes Rangers have to step up in levels as the challenges increase following the recent international break.

The Belgian boss has impressed the Gers fans by winning six and drawing once in the seven games since taking over from Michael Beale last month. Rejuvenated Rangers, eight points behind cinch Premiership leaders Celtic with a game in hand, face Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Sunday in the league before the two sides meet in the Viaplay Cup final at Hampden Park next month, and there are other difficult fixtures looming such as deciding Europa League games and a trip to Celtic Park before the January winter break.

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“We have to step up,” said the Ibrox boss in his broadcast press conference, who welcomes back Rabbi Matondo from a knee injury and John Souttar from a muscle problem, but midfielder Ryan Jack is a doubt with an unspecified injury, with playmaker Nico Raskin and forward Kemar Roofe still unavailable. “We have 12 games in 37 days. If we want to keep the same results we have to step up, there is no other choice.

Rangers manager Philippe Clement and Rabbi Matondo.Rangers manager Philippe Clement and Rabbi Matondo.
Rangers manager Philippe Clement and Rabbi Matondo.

“It is also what I want. I don’t want players who are satisfied and think that is their level, I think in this group with a lot of work and a lot of concentration, they still can grow a lot as a team and as individuals. That is what they need to show now these next five-and-a-half weeks and it is going to be game by game.

“I hope we can win 12 games, that is my goal. I hope we can win the next 40 games, I want to win every time – but I have been really disappointed with that in my career up until now, it has never happened. I know there will be bumps on the way and we just need to focus, first on Aberdeen.”