Rangers press conference: Jack Butland England claims, tennis courts, Kemar Roofe is left out

The best bits from Philippe Clement’s broadcast press conference ahead of Rangers’ trip to Kilmarnock

Rangers manager Philippe Clement spoke to the broadcast media ahead of Wednesday’s cinch Premiership match away to Kilmarnock. We pick out some of the highlights:

On suggestions goalkeeper Jack Butland could earn an England recall: “I would love that he would be there because he deserves, he is ready in that way. If he deserves enough, that is the decision of [England head coach Gareth] Southgate of course. He [Butland] has been really good for the team although he has had less to do in the last couple of weeks. But he keeps the same concentration, the same seriousness and he is important in the dressing room and in training, and he is going to be important in the next couple of weeks and months because we have a lot of games to go and a lot of important games where you need players with personality.”

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Playing Kilmarnock on the synthetic pitch at Rugby Park: “It is a difficult challenge and we will approach the game with respect for the opponent but also respect for ourselves, to play our own game although you need to adapt to a totally different kind of football because of the pitch. I made the comparison with tennis. Playing at Wimbledon or on a clay court. It is a little bit like that, of course a different sport but the ball goes faster [on artificial turf] so you need to be a little bit more precise. On a grass pitch when you give a pass it slows down after a while. On artificial, it keeps its speed or goes even faster along the way. The ball bounces in a totally different way, also the way of turning, sprinting, stopping – a lot of things that are different but it is what it is. It is not easy but we did it before at Livingston and we need to do it again.”

Rangers manager Philippe Clement spoke to the media ahead of the Kilmarnock match.Rangers manager Philippe Clement spoke to the media ahead of the Kilmarnock match.
Rangers manager Philippe Clement spoke to the media ahead of the Kilmarnock match.

An update on the squad: “The squad is fine. There have been no further injuries since the weekend but Kemar Roofe will not play [due to the artificial surface] – but this creates a chance for another player.”

And high praise for new signing: “[Mohamed] Diomande is a high-potential player and I don't think Rangers will be his last step. He has talent and the right mentality to work for the team and those are the things you are looking for.”