'Keep the fire away' - Philippe Clement issues pyro plea to Rangers fans and addresses team bus delay

Rangers manager Philippe Clement applauds fans at full time after the 5-0 win over Dundee. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)Rangers manager Philippe Clement applauds fans at full time after the 5-0 win over Dundee. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Rangers manager Philippe Clement applauds fans at full time after the 5-0 win over Dundee. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
New manager Philippe Clement has urged Rangers fans to “keep the fire away” after the Ibrox side put five goals past Dundee on an extraordinary evening at Dens Park.

The game had already been delayed for 45 minutes after the Rangers team bus was caught up in traffic congestion when it suffered a further hiatus after smoke from flares brought into the ground by visiting fans was the cause of another near 20-minute interruption.

Rangers reacted well to the delays in contrast to their hosts, who lost a goal after five minutes and were never really in it. Ryan Jack tapped in the opener for Rangers and Danilo and then Sam Lammers had the Ibrox side three up with 15 minutes left. Substitute Cyriel Dessers and captain James Tavernier, from the spot, completed the scoring late on.

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But while Clement applauded the away fans for their patience and loud backing throughout, he asked the fans to avoid risking further disruptions that could hamper the team.

“I hope that the club does not face sanctions,” he said. “You come here in the warm-up and the stand is full, everyone is chanting and supporting the players, giving a lot of energy.

“Those are very important things. We feel also the dynamic between fans and players is changing and it’s because of both sides. The supporters are positive to the players and the players are doing the right things on the pitch.

“Those things we need to continue doing and not pyro things, because going inside is not a good thing.

“We started the game brightly with pressing from Danilo and you can break the rhythm of the team like that. It was good the team started bright again, but I think everyone will understand that it’s really good to have all this support, all these songs and all this energy – I love it! – but keep the fire outside of the stadium.”

Clement addressed the delay before the scheduled kick off of 7.45pm after Rangers were caught up in traffic chaos. Although they had stayed the night before the game in St Andrews, just 15 miles away, their team bus did not draw up outside Dens Park until 7.25pm.

“We always leave early so that we are at in the stadium at least one and a half hours before the game, normally one hour 45," said the Rangers manager. “That way we don’t take any risks.

“Our kitman also comes before us so they will tell us if there’s trouble on the roads. He got here within 20 minutes while it took us more than two hours because of an accident.

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"That's life," he added. "You need to stay calm and focused. All the players did that. There was no stress on the bus.

"We came here and had a talk with the coaches of Dundee and with the referee about when to start. Everything was really correct.

“The players were ready and after going inside again it was the same. Because you have five minutes in the dressing room it doesn’t mean you lose your focus.

"They need to be winners so whatever circumstances, whatever pitch, whatever weather, we are there to win games. That’s the mentality I want."



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