Philippe Clement Urges Rangers to Rediscover Their Composure for Hearts Cup Semi

Rangers manager Philippe Clement remains resolute that his team will focus on playing to their strengths in Sunday’s Scottish Gas Scottish Cup semi-final against Hearts.

The Ibrox side enters the Hampden showdown on the heels of a challenging run, with just two wins in their last eight games across all competitions. Their cinch Premiership title bid has been significantly hampered, managing only two points from their last three matches.

In contrast, Hearts come into the match with momentum, having secured back-to-back wins against St Mirren and Livingston. They currently sit 11 points clear of their closest rivals in the race for third place in the table.

Clement dismissed suggestions that Rangers need to alter their game plan to counter Steven Naismith’s in-form team. Instead, he emphasized the importance of focusing on their own game and raising their performance level.

“We will play our own game, we don’t need to counter another team,” Clement stated. “To win, we need a better performance than we had on Wednesday. We need to do the right things against Hearts who have had a very good season.”

He acknowledged the significance of the upcoming match as a test for his players, expressing confidence in their hunger to reach the final. Clement highlighted the experience within the squad, noting their previous successes and the positive mood among the players.

Reflecting on Rangers’ recent performance, Clement identified areas for improvement, particularly in maintaining composure and balance during matches.

“Against Dundee, we were too direct so we lost the balance in that way,” Clement remarked. “We need to find a good balance and do that in a better way against Hearts.”

Despite facing criticism, Clement sees this period as an opportunity for his players to demonstrate their character and resilience.

“It is easy to be good and be happy when it goes easy,” he said. “It is when the going gets tough you see the personality and the character.”

Clement emphasized the importance of resilience in players, suggesting that it’s a quality that can be developed over time, not just innate.

“That is an important part of being part of this club,” he added. “It is also something that Nils knows really well, it is something to look at in recruitment also,” referring to Nils Koppen, the director of football recruitment.